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Subject: ENGLISH FOR GEOSCIENCES (A.A. 2023/2024)


Course year 1
Teaching units Unit English for geosciences
Further linguistic skills (lesson)
  • TAF: Various educational activities SSD: L-LIN/12 CFU: 3
Teachers: Veronica PADOVANI
Exam type oral
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language inglese
Contents download pdf download




The course aims to provide tools for effective communication in English in the field of science education.

Admission requirements

Recommended English level: B1-B2

Course contents

Introduction to the course;
English: Language of Science;
Informal Sources of scientific English: Books, Movies & TV, Podcasts, Music, Sports and Food;
CLIL - Content and Language Integrated Learning;
Skepticism and Critical Thinking;
Evolution & Creationism;
Science & Humanities;
Academic Writing;
Public speaking & Presentations;
CVs, resumes and portfolios;
Informal Science Education & Museums;

Teaching methods

Lectures, individual and group activities, workshops

Assessment methods

The exam will be in two parts, entirely in English, and it aims at verifying knowledge of the topics discussed in class, as well as the ability to discuss them in an articulate, organized way and mastering scientific vocabulary. Students will have to produce: 1. Original written assignment (lesson plan, see template) on a topic previously agreed with the instructor, to be delivered at least 3 days before the exam date (maximum 15 points). 2. Original oral presentation of 7-10 minutes on the same topic as written assignment (max 15 points). Grading: 30-point scale Failed exams can be attempted again in the next available exam session. All sources must be clearly referenced. Use of AI-generated content will be considered plagiarism and will not be tolerated. Grading rubric for written assignment: Introduction 4-5 Introduction clearly and efficiently presents topic and rationale of lesson plan. 2-3 Introduction presents topic and rationale of lesson plan. 0-1 Introduction is insufficient and/or confused . Learning goal and strategies/activities 4-5 Learning goals are clearly stated. Instructional strategies/activities are well thought and appropriate for learning outcomes and learners level. 2-3 Learning goals are stated. Instructional strategies/activities are consistent with learning outcomes and learners level. 0-1 Learning goals are missing or confused. Instructional strategies/activities are not consistent with learning outcomes and learners level. Organization and Presentation 4-5 Lesson plan is presented in a well organized, logical and professional fashion. 2-3 Lesson plan is organized and neatly presented. 0-1 Lesson plan is unorganized and not presented in a neat manner. Grading rubric for oral presentation: Subject Knowledge 4-5 points: Student demonstrates thorough knowledge of the subject. 2-3 points: Student is at ease with the subject and demonstrates sufficient knowledge. 0-1 points: Student is lacking necessary background knowledge of the subject. Organization 4-5 points: Student presents information in logical, interesting sequence. 2-3 points: Student presents information in logical sequence. 0-1 point: There is no logic sequence of information. Language 4-5 points: No misspellings/mispronunciations and/or grammatical errors. 2-3 points: Minor misspellings/mispronunciations and/or grammatical errors. 0-1 point: Several misspellings/mispronunciations and/or grammatical errors. Extra points: 1.0 Confident and appropriate use of ISV. 0.5 Interdisciplinary/STEAM approach. 0.5 Use of unexpected sources of language and learning. Study material: Lessons slides (including links and videos) and recordings (when available); Material provided on Microsoft Teams.

Learning outcomes

-Using specialized vocabulary and English language skills needed to gather and share information within science education community.
-Communicating science in English through thoughtful use of jargon, careful use of metaphors, and other rhetorical strategies to increase audience interest and understanding.
-Communicating science using a range of appropriate modes and technologies, including oral, visual, and multimedia components.
-Designing and delivering effective CLIL experiences.
-Understanding the broader societal impacts of effective science communication and education.
-Reflecting on the range and effectiveness of varied communicative strategies for conveying scientific information.


Recommended Reading

Darn, S. (2009). Content and Language Integrated Learning. British Council. BBC Teaching English.

Teaching Science through English – a CLIL approach uploads/2016/03/Teaching-Science-through-English-A-CLIL-Approach.pdf

On jargon, and why it matters in science writing phenomena/2010/11/24/on-jargon-and-why-it-matters-in-science-writing/

Gordin, D.M., Absolute English english

Carrier, S.J., Effective strategies for teaching science vocabulary,

Booth, Vernon. Communicating in Science: Writing a Scientific Paper and Speaking at Scientific Meetings. Cambridge University Press, 1993

Chicone, Sarah J. and Kissel, Richard A. Dinosaurs and Dioramas: Creating Natural History Exhibitions. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2013

Warren D. Allmon, Evolution and Creationism: A Guide for Museum Docents" http://

Erin L. Dolan and James P. Collins, We must teach more effectively: here are four ways to get started, Molecular Biology of the Cell 2015 26:12, 2151-2155

To be continued and updated ...