L-LIN/11 - 9 CFU - Annual Tuition

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

Consolidation of linguistic and communicative skills at the C2 level of CEFRL.

In the context of US multiethnic and multilinguistic society, which calls for the development of intercultural communicative competences, module 1 (“Language and cultural diversity in the United States”) aims at investigating the relationship between language and identity – and the way it is erased by mainstream ideology – as concerning hyphenated Americans.


Module 2 (“Three versions of the African American Identity”) explores three moments of African American identity: from masking (through the strategy of passing) to re-appropriation (the blues, from folk music to literature) to original creation (street culture: rap, hip-hop, breakdance, graffiti).


In the domain of Professional Communication, module 3 (“Professional Communication”) aims at exploring how and why members of professional communities create and disseminate specialized knowledge; what semiotic resources and communicative modes they employ – and how they employ them – to achieve their specific purposes with specific reference to public relations discourse and the genre of the press/news release.

Course Structure

Traditional front lessons will be combined with activities aimed at fostering the direct involvement of attending students. This will include class debate on topical issues and students’ assignments for the lessons (guidelines will be given in the classroom and posted on Studium).

Attendance, of both program (54 hours) and language practice (60 hours) classes is highly recommended. Students who will not be able to attend must in any case register for the course via Studium and keep in contact with the professor as well as with her language assistant teacher.

Detailed Course Content

1) Language and cultural diversity in the United States

American English: processes of language variation and standardization; ethnic cultures and dialects (African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American identities; African American Vernacular English, Chicano English, Spanglish).


2) Three versions of the African American Identity

Passing (in Nella Larsen’s novel) as a masking strategy; blues as a literary form (Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance); street culture from outlaw to mainstream (hip-hop, rap, breakdance, graffiti).


3) Professional Communication

Dynamics of Professional Communication; Critical Genre Analysis; hybridization and interdiscursivity; Public Relations discourse; the genre of the press/news release.

Textbook Information

  1. Language and cultural diversity in the United States

For private practice:

To integrate their training, students are highly recommended to use the following textbook on phonetics and phonology:

Spelling, lexical, morphological, syntactical and grammatical elements of American English will be examined in the classes for language practice. For individual study, students can consult the following textbook:

2) Three Versions of the Afro-American Identity

Larsen, N., Passing. New York, Knopf, 1929. Part One: “Encounter” (pp. 1-85)


McDowell, D. E. “Introduction” to Quicksand and Passing, New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, 1986, pp. ix-xxxi (google books online)


Hughes, L., The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes. New York, Vintage, 1995: “50-50”; “Blues in Stereo”; “Blues on Box”; “Crowing Hen Blues”; “Harlem”; “Love Again Blues”; “Mother to Son”; “Po’ Boy Blues”; “The Weary Blues” (10 pp):


Brooks, G. “The Darker Brother”, The New York Times, October 12, 1986, Section 7, p. 7:


Chang, J. Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop. A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, New York, St. Martin’s Press, 2005: “Necropolis: The Bronx and the Politics of Abandonment” (pp. 7-19); “The World Is Ours: The Survival and Transformation of Bronx Style” (pp. 127-39); “What We Got to Say: Black Suburbia, Segregation and Utopia in the Late 1980s” (pp. 231-61); “New World Order: Globalization, Containment and Counterculture at the End of the Century” (pp. 437-65)

[*] sections of the book by Chang will be available in .pdf format on Studium.

3) Professional Communication


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 programs can be consulted in the Library.

Open in PDF format Versione in italiano