The teaching materials in this volume are designed for students of Political Science and related Social Science Studies at an upper-intermediate and advanced level of competence in English who need to develop the academic language and skills which will allow them to perform more effectively in their studies and participate in international programs at home and abroad.
This textbook is 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 their final examination. It is also a response to the University’s growing internationalization and the increasing number of degree courses taught entirely in English.
The Luiss course of Academic English reflects the latest trends in language learning, including Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) and Blended Language Learning. From CLIL, there is a focus on subject-specific and cognitively challenging content which is competence-based in the development of transferrable communication skills (‘soft skills’), and promotes intercultural dialogue and mediation. The Blending Learning approach caters to the needs and expectations of the digital-generation student, blending in-class guided learning with autonomous multi-media activities using the web. In this approach, interactive and performance-based tasks are combined with authentic texts which allow students to explore subjects of direct interest to them as university students.
The course draws primarily on materials from reputable online sources to assist students in acquiring a solid grounding in lexical components, communication strategies, and academic study skills related to the subject areas of the social sciences (politics and governance, economics, law, and political communication). Resources used include excerpts from treaties, conventions, institutional web sites, journals, research papers, lectures, interviews, press conferences, and political speeches. Academic tasks involve note-taking, summarizing, interpreting graphs, academic presentations, simulations, debates on academic issues, team projects, and report and essay writing. The work on terminology and academic communication skills is systematically integrated with exercises specifically designed to raise students’ language awareness to eliminate typical errors of pronunciation, grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.
The course materials are designed in such a way as to encourage the comparison and evaluation of alternative sources, stances, and text organization. Critical reading and critical thinking are developed with the aim of helping students form and substantiate well-founded analyses.
Former Director of the University Language Centre, Linda Lombardo was for many years Full Professor of English Language and Linguistics in the Political Science Department of the Luiss Guido Carli University. Christine Eade coordinates the Language Program for the Department of Political Science. Frank Amodeo, Norman Cain, Linda Hampson, Dympna Hayes, Maria Hillan, Margaret Horrigan, and Henry Rodgers have all taught Academic English at the Luiss Guido Carli University.