Su Luopei (Robert Spence) Mündliche Fachkommunikation B I (Englisch), WS 2021/22

Last update: 2021-09-08 22:12 UTC+10:00

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Mündliche Fachkommunikation (B I), WS 2021/22

General information concerning this course

This course is part of the WP 4 component of the Translation Science and Technology M.A.

Due to the pandemic, this semester’s iteration of the course will take place either entirely online, or else in hybrid mode (face-to-face teaching with live streaming). The decision on whether to move to hybrid mode will be taken once the situation becomes clearer.

The first four or five weeks of the course will in either case be based on asynchronous remote learning. Students will begin by completing a survey sheet and sending it to the course leader; they will then read 45 pages of a critique of modern linguistics, and process three question sheets designed to test their comprehension of the reading material. The answers to the question sheets are due by the end of November. Both the survey sheet and the question sheets are designed as PDF forms, so students are expected to type their answers directly into the spaces provided, save the files, and send them to the course leader as email attachments. If technical problems are encountered, it may be helpful to use a different PDF viewer and/or a different browser. (Try saving the first page of the survey sheet and opening it again, to make sure no data is being lost.)

The course is structured around a critique of the three key terms contained in its title: communication, specialization, and orality.

The reading assignment in the initial, asynchronous part of the course will focus on the all-too-often unchallenged assumption that the primary function of language is ‘communication’. In the later, synchronous part of the course, we will be exploring degrees of specialization and differences between written and spoken language.

The synchronous part of the course will involve a series of videoconference meetings on MS Teams, possibly streamed live from a classroom. These meetings will take place on Mondays from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m., but in some weeks the meetings may be shorter or may be cancelled to give students more time to complete other parts of the workload.

Some meetings may involve informal oral or written exercises focusing on the structure of lexical fields and on the transition from spoken to written or written to spoken language against a more general background of varying degrees of information density.

We could also practise bilateral consecutive interpreting between German and English, if students have sufficient spoken language skills in both languages.

Assessment for the course will be on the basis of:

1.) an oral presentation at one of the sessions in the second half of the semester, plus

2.) the handout for that presentation, plus

3.) the question sheets on the initial reading material (which will have been submitted early on in the semester), plus

4.) two other short written exercises (we work on these in the first half of the semester, but—unlike the three question sheets on the initial reading exercise—they do not have to be handed in until the end of the semester); the two short written exercises will deal with nominalization, information density, degree of specialization, and lexical fields.

ERASMUS students at M.A. level are welcome to attend in reasonable numbers, and can obtain a graded certificate for this course (3 ECTS points) by completing all of the assessment tasks listed above.

All students taking the course should make sure that their correct e-mail address is on the course mailing list. It would be appreciated if students could include the abbreviation
(including the square brackets) in the subject field of any emails addressed to the course leader.


Here is the initial survey sheet. Please complete it and return it within the first two or three weeks of the lecture period.

Initial Survey

Here is the initial reading material (password-protected—if you have not already received your password, contact the course leader):

Initial Reading

Here are the question sheets on the initial reading material (password-protected—if you have not already received your password, contact the course leader):

Question Sheets on Initial Reading

Here is the first worksheet:

Worksheet 1: nominalization

Here is the second worksheet:

Worksheet 2: lexis

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