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Social sciences and humanities

Subject: ENGLISH (QUALIFICATION) (A.A. 2021/2022)


Course year 2
Teaching units Unit Lingua inglese (idoneita')
Knowledge of at least one foreign language (lesson)
  • TAF: A foreign language, final examination SSD: L-LIN/12 CFU: 6
Teachers: Judith Anne TURNBULL
Exam type oral
Evaluation final judgment
Teaching language Italiano
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Judith Anne TURNBULL


The course aims to provide students with a good competence in English at B1 level (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and a basic knowledge of legal English so that they will be able to read newspaper articles on legal issues and use autonomously a wide range of legal texts in English (e.g. judgments, laws, contracts).
Students will learn how to analyse the linguistic features of a text both at sentence and text level, to identify the mechanisms used to create coherence and cohesion and to consider the complex interaction between text and extra-linguistic factors in order to understand different types of texts and the functional organization of legal discourse.

Admission requirements

An A2/B1 level of competence in English.

Course contents

The course is made up of two parts: an institutional course and a grammar course.
The institutional course is held in the second semester of the second year and provides some basic tools for a first approach to specialised legal discourse.
It will focus on:
• information about origins and the English legal system (2 hours)
• characteristics of Legal English (4 hours)
• analysis of the specialised terminology and lexis of legal discourse (20 hours);
• analysis of English legal texts, as a resource for learning and consolidating knowledge of the linguistic structures found in legal discourse and as a resource to further acquire knowledge of English legal terminology and vocabulary (14 hours)
• analysisi and application of some of the main reading (skimming, scanning, extensive reading, intensive reading, etc.) (2 hours)

Amongst the topics covered in the course: the English legal system, criminal law, civil law, tort law, Intellectual Property Rights, and the law of the European Union.

The division of the contents of the course into hours is purely indicative and may undergo some changes whilst working with students in class.

The grammar course is held in both the first and second semesters (level B1).

Teaching methods

The course will be taught in English and is organised as follows: For students of the SGIPA degree course with the blended learning format: • Classroom lessons (30 hours) with the use of Powerpoint and practical exercises. • Lessons in virtual classrooms (6 hours), during which students are invited to actively take part in the lesson and pratical exercises. • Recordings of short lessons (12 in all, for a total of 6 hours) available on the course page on the Dolly portal. For students of the 5-year degree course in Law: • Classroom lessons (36 hours) with the use of Powerpoint and practical exercises. • Recordings of short lessons (12 in all, for a total of 6 hours) available on the course page on the Dolly portal. Attendance is not compulsory, but strongly recommended.

Assessment methods

The exam is made up of two written tests, one for the institutional course (50%) and one for the grammar course (50%), both of which are at the B1 level. It carries a pass/fail mark. The exam for the institutional course is a written test (reading of a legal text with multiple choice comprehension questions, a cloze test and gap-filling lexical-grammar exercises). The exam for the grammar course is a written test with lexical-grammar exercises. The exam aims to assess whether the student has reached a sufficient level of linguistic competence and the ability to apply the skills expected to have been acquired (50%). It will also evaluate the transversal competencies (50%): communicative ability, making judgements and learning skills. Students may take the institutional course exam before they take the grammar exam and vice versa. The exam results are valid for twelve months.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding – at the end of the course students should have reached a B1 level of English
Applying knowledge – students must be able to understand specialised legal texts
Making judgements - at the end of the course students will have acquired the basic reading strategies and legal vocabulary and terminology.
Communication skills – Students must be able to deal with new texts (written and oral) and interpret them using the analytical tool acquired during the course.
Learning skills - students have to show they are capable of applying the knowledge and skills they have acquired during lessons and are able to analyse the linguistic and textual features of legal discourse.


Riley, Alison (2012, 2nd edition) Legal English and the Common Law. Padova: Cedam.
Merriam Webster’s Law Dictionary
Oxford Dictionary of Law. (2018, 9th edition). J. Law (ed.) Oxford Quick Reference.