Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
A foreign language, final examination
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (24 hours)

Although no propaedeutic skills are required, at least a pre-intermediate level (A2.2) is recommended to follow the course profitably.

Final Examination: 

Assessment is through a written examination at the end of the course. The test will aim to assess the student's ability to understand the information contained in a science text. In addition, the test is intended to test the student's ability to use the language in specific contexts of use. The test is approved or not approved by the lecturer and does not involve a grade.

Level: B1

Giudizio Finale

The course aims to explore the characteristics of academic discourse with particular reference to Academic English for Science.
During the lectures, the topics proposed by the textbook will be covered. This will lead to the development of useful communication skills which are useful for the ability to understand the characteristics of scientific text, consult databases, find information on the web, read and understand bibliographical material.

Articles dealing with biology in scientific and professional fields will be studied in order to develop the ability to learn the specific features of scientific discourse.

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to understand the content of a scientific article from an international journal and will acquire the basic skills to communicate their findings in English, both in written and oral form.

The lectures will be divided into two modules: the first (30 percent of total amount of time) focusing on the study of English with a review of some particularly important structures and constructions in science, and the second (70 percent of the total amount of time) on the use of English in scientific discourse.

The following grammar topics will be covered indicatively in the order below: review of verb tenses: present simple vs. present continuous, past simple vs. present perfect; quantifiers; the comparative and superlative; modal verbs to express deduction and possibility; relative pronouns; the determinative and indeterminative article; the gerund and infinitive; the passive form; conjunctions.
The grammar topics (given above), will be deepened and reinforced through reading and analyzing scientific texts and watching and listening to videos/podcasts in the L2 in science.

The following topics related to scientific discourse will be addressed roughly in the order below: the features that distinguish scientific discourse in English: the nominal groups, the passive form, specialized vocabulary and register; the scientific report and the verbal expressions and tenses that characterize its sections (Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion); constructions/expressions used to express possibility/probability and to hypothesize; collocations in common use in scientific discourse; particular constructions in scientific discourse; common combinations: verb/preposition and noun/preposition in scientific speech.


- Interactive lessons;
- To foster the development of receptive skills:
(a) reading of specialized scientific articles; linguistic analysis of texts.
(b) listening to and comprehension of science-related material;
- language use exercises.

The teacher can be emailed (silvia.minardi@uninsubria.it) or an online meeting can be requested for specific reasons.

Students are kindly requested to buy the textbook before the beginning of the course.