L-LIN/12 - 6 CFU - Annual Tuition

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

The course aims to promote the students’ linguistic and communicative competence, with the objective of reaching the C1 level (Effectiveness) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (C.E.F.R.; http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/source/framework_en.pdf). In particular, through the analysis of extracts from films, radio programmes, TV series and other TV programmes, the course will illustrate the main characteristics of spoken English and, at the same time, of contemporary media talk.

Course Structure

Although this is an “annual” subject, the majority of the teaching will take place in the second semester. Classes will have a lecture format, but participation on the part of students is expected and will be actively encouraged. The calendar for classes will be communicated both during classes, on the DISUM webpage of teachers and through the Studium learning platform. We will be available during office hours for this purpose.

Detailed Course Content

After an introduction on spoken English, the course will focus on the two following topics:


-Telecinematic dialogue, i.e. English spoken in films and TV series, a register which is interesting from a linguistic point of view in that – among other things – it originates in writing but is designed and performed as speech.


-Media talk, i.e. English spoken on the radio and on TV. The course will highlight the distinctive linguistic features and trends in contemporary media talk by looking at media environments such as radio phone-in programmes, televised interviews with politicians, news programmes, etc., and also by drawing comparisons with spontaneous conversation.


The topics of the course will be illustrated by means of a variety of examples taken from films, TV series, radio and TV programmes.


The course is complemented by the language practice classes taught by the C.E.L. staff (Collaboratori ed Esperti Linguistici).

Textbook Information

- Biber, Douglas et al. 1999. Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. London: Longman. Chapter: 14, The grammar of conversation, pp. 1038-1125. This chapter will be made available via Studium.

- Kozloff, Sarah. 2000. Overhearing Film Dialogue. Berkeley/Los Angeles/London: University of California Press. Chapter: 1, The functions of dialogue in narrative film, pp. 33-63. This chapter will be made available via Studium.

- Zago, Raffaele. 2016. From Originals to Remakes. Colloquiality in English Film Dialogue over Time. Acireale/Roma: Bonanno Editore. Chapter: 2, Features of film dialogue, pp. 55-66. This chapter will be made available via Studium.

- Quaglio, Paulo. 2009. Television Dialogue: The Sitcom Friends vs. Natural Conversation. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Chapter: 6, Emotional language, pp. 87-105. This chapter will be made available via Studium.

- O’Keeffe, Anne. 2006. Investigating Media Discourse. London/New York: Routledge. Chapters:

-1, Introduction, pp. 1-13;

-3, Review of methodologies for analysing media discourse, pp. 32-61;

-4, Managing the discourse, pp. 62-89;

-5, Creating and sustaining pseudo-relationships, pp. 90-126.


Please remember that in compliance with art. 171 L22.04.1941, n. 633 and its amendments, it is illegal to copy entire books or journals. Only 15% of their content can be copied.

For further information on sanctions and regulations concerning photocopying, please refer to the regulations on copyright (Linee Guida sulla Gestione dei Diritti d’Autore) provided by AIDRO – Associazione Italiana per i Diritti di Riproduzione delle Opere dell’Ingegno (the Italian Association on Copyright).

All the books listed in the syllabus can be consulted in the Library.

Open in PDF format Versione in italiano