Su Luopei (Robert Spence) Written Expression, WS 2018/2019

Last update: 2018-09-17 22:38 UTC+10:00

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Written Expression, WS 2018/2019

0 General information concerning this course

This course aims to help students to improve their active command of written English. The course is designed essentially for three groups of students:

  1. students of the “classical” degrees that include the subject English;
  2. students of the new “Language Science” B.A.;
  3. ERASMUS students.

The methodology of the course is informed by genre-based literacy pedagogy, as developed by the ‘Sydney School’ of Systemic Functional Linguistics.

At the beginning of the course, we review some of the key notions of functional grammar and text linguistics, such as clause structure (including Theme and Rheme), cohesion, text type, register, and genre. We then proceed to take examples of texts from four different genres. For each genre, we proceed as follows: 1) analysis of a model text to see how it works and what resources are employed in its construction; 2) “joint construction” of a similar text in class; 3) individual production of a similar text by students as homework; 4) feedback from the course leader on any problems which arose in the homework; 5) further improvement of each text by its author, if necessary.

The course will be taught in weekly ninety-minute blocks, in three parallel groups:
Kurs 112851 Gruppe 4: mittwochs 14:15–15:45, Geb. A2 2, 1.26
Kurs 112851 Gruppe 6: dienstags 10:15–11:45, Geb. A2 2, Raum 1.26
Kurs 111167 (primarily for ERASMUS): donnerstags 14:15–15:45, Geb. A2 2, Raum 1.26

Every effort will be made to ensure that the three groups work at the same rate. Students who have to miss a session due to another appointment will thus, ideally, have two other opportunities to catch up on that session.

Students are expected to attend regularly. If you are unable to attend one of the lessons, it is vital that you contact me beforehand to let me know. Missing more than two lessons altogether would seriously compromise your chances of successfully completing the course.

Assessment will be on the basis of a portfolio containing four texts (plus, if required, earlier versions, re-worked versions, etc., of each text) which each student has produced during the semester.

ERASMUS students can obtain a graded certificate for this course (3 ECTS points) by completing all four of the texts that are to be produced, re-submitting each for a second round of correction, and completing certain other additional exercises. The amount of additional work required to gain 3 ECTS points instead of 2 ECTS points is equivalent to at least one full weekend’s work (seven or eight hours per day for two days).

All other students will be working towards 2 ECTS points.

The initial reading material to accompany the course is:

M. A. K. Halliday and Ruqaiya Hasan:
Language, context, and text: Aspects of language in a social-semiotic perspective
Deakin University Press, 1985.

The initial reading material will be made available at the beginning of the semester.

Further reading materials may be distributed at the weekly sessions.

All students taking the course should make sure that their correct email address is on the course mailing list. (Online registration is available via LSF, but please try to get to the first lesson so that I can meet you in person!) When sending an email to the course leader, please make sure that the piece of text
[writtenexpression]
(including the square brackets!) is included in the subject line. (This will happen automagically if you are reading any email I have already sent you concerning this course and you simply hit the “Reply” button.) It would also be helpful if you could mention, in the body of the email, which group you attend.

The website will be updated frequently, so please check back regularly, and don’t forget to press the “refresh” button on your browser.

Links to electronic versions of materials distributed in class, and other materials, will be added below:

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