The teaching materials in this volume are intended for use with students of Political Science and related Social Science Studies at an intermediate and advanced level of competence in English. They are the fruit of intense experimentation over the past several years by a group of language professors in an Academic English course which prepares undergraduate students in Political Science at the Luiss Guido Carli University for the final examination. They are also a response to the growing internationalization of the University and the increasing number of degree courses taught entirely in English. The course has been designed for university students who need to develop the academic language and skills which will allow them to broaden their studies and/or to participate in international programmes at home and abroad, which are more and more often taught in English. The Luiss course of Academic English course reflects the latest trends in language learning, from CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) to Blended Language Learning. From CLIL, there is a focus on content which is subject-specific and cognitively challenging, which is competence-based in the development of transferrable communication skills (‘soft skills’), and which promotes intercultural dialogue and mediation. From Blending Learning, there is an approach in line with the needs and expectations of Internet generation students, which blends in-class guided learning and autonomous multi-media activities using the web. In this approach, interactive and performance-based tasks are combined with the kinds of authentic language and texts that will allow students to learn about and research subjects of real interest to them as university students.
The course draws principally on resources from reputable web sites in orderto assist students in acquiring in English core concepts and terminology related to the fields of politics, economics, law and communication, and in developing academic competences and study and research skills in English. Internet resources used include excerpts from treaties, conventions, institutional web sites, newspaper articles, scholarly texts, lectures, interviews, press conferences, and political speeches. Academic tasks involve note-taking, summarizing, interpreting graphs, brief presentations, simulations, discussion/debate on academic topics, team projects, report writing and essay writing.