Lingua inglese
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Lingua inglese. Evaluation and attribution in media discourse. Aims of course. By the end of the course you will have gained Awareness of text features Knowledge of metalanguage Experience of text analysis Analytical skills Greater English language competence. Media language.

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Lingua inglese

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Lingua inglese

Lingua inglese

Evaluation and attribution in media discourse

Aims of course


  • By the end of the courseyouwillhavegained

  • Awarenessof text features

  • Knowledgeofmetalanguage

  • Experienceof text analysis

  • Analyticalskills

  • Greater English languagecompetence

Media language

Media language

  • English language media discourseisanimportantresourceforpoliticalscientists

  • Tobeabletousethisresourceisanasset

  • English languagenewspapers and television news providelanguagepractice and politicalcontent

  • Data collectionfromthesesources can beanimportantresearchtool

English media discourse the language of evaluation and attribution

English media discourse: the language of evaluation and attribution

  • This course aims to introduce students to the English language resources of evaluation and attribution in media texts (broadsheets and TV news).

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  • Students will be introduced to examples of media discourse research and will practice and develop descriptive and analytical skills using media texts.

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  • You need to be exposed to English to learn it

  • The more you are exposed the more you assimilate

  • Exposure means reading and listening

  • You are students of politics and need to understand a variety of text types

  • You will be exposed to English in the classes and through the tasks set

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  • This course aims to give you experience of media texts in English, news discourse: TV and press.

  • It aims to raise your awareness of two particular text types

  • But also provide a metalanguage to describe aspects of the discourse and a methodology for analysis

  • It aims also to introduce you to English language research which is of some relevance to political scientists.

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  • You will also practice data gathering and data analysis

  • And improve your language skills.

Politics is nearly all done by language

Politics is nearly all done by language

  • There are two things non-native speakers find very difficult:

  • to understand stance, that is to say subjective attitudes expressed in discourse

  • and to understand who is taking responsibility for any one particular statement

  • this why we will be concentrating on evaluation and attribution

Course structure


  • A. 4 credits 40 hrs lessons; reading; tasks

  • B. 6 credits 40 hrs lessons; reading; tasks+

    C. 8 credits 40 hrs lessons; reading;tasks++



  • Information about the varioustasks and courseoutlinewillbegivennexttime.

  • Non frequentanti needtoconsult the information on line:

  • Lessonslides and othermaterials: materiali disponibili a questa pagina


Levels of language description


  • Morphology

  • the study of word structure

  • Syntax

  • the study of how words combine to form larger units

  • Semantics

  • the studyofmeaning

  • Discourseanalysis

  • the study of larger patterns of meaning

  • Pragmatics

  • the study of language in use

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  • Language has varieties: there are regional and social varieties.

  • The technical term for those varieties which depend on differences of social use is register.

  • Register can be divided into field of discourse (subject matter: chemistry, linguistics, music) tenor of discourse (sometimes referred to as style, e.g formal, informal, intimate) and mode of discourse (medium of the language activity, spoken, written, face to face, twitter).



  • Out: Party 4 m’s bday on sat. Wanna come???? Alone or with friend

  • In: up 4 party! Time/place? Will b alone

  • Out: Gr8,2morrow @my place, 9ish. C U

A text message

A text message



  • What can you guess about the people involved in this communication and what did you use when making your guesses?

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  • We can guessthatthese people knoweachotherquitewell and haveaninformal and casual relationshipwithsymmetricalpowerrelationship.

  • Clues: useof first names, abbreviations, useofnumberstorepresentsounds, spelling errors, informallexis, punctuationetc are allamong the signals.

Domain and text type

Domain and text type

  • Language is used in a variety of domains (public, personal, occupational, educational). The interplay of contexts and domains has brought about the development of recognisable genres or text types

  • There are regular variations of form according to register and genres develop from register used for a particular purpose.



  • No texts are constructed in isolation. Language is a social practice.

  • Meaning is dependent on context, the events and situational factors in which acts of communication are embedded (the subject or topic, the purpose or reason for communicating, the circumstances, the physical context, the relationship between addresser and addressee, their previous contact with each other and the topic)

Varieties in language

Varieties in language

  • dimensions of variation

  • diaphasic: different communicative settings, e.g.different levels of style/register, oral vs. written

  • diastratic: different social groups (according to age, sex, profession ...), different sociolects e.g. young people, hunters‘

  • Diatopic: different places and regions of the linguistic area, different dialects e.g.Cockney English, Saxonian German

  • diachronic: historical stages on the diachronic axis e.g.extinct, obsolete, old-fashioned, current, fashionable

We are primed for certain features

We are primed for certain features

  • We learn to recognise genres by being exposed to them, we are primed by the texts we have encountered and have expectations.

  • The way we read a text depends on how many similar texts we have read before and the expectations we have about such texts. Most texts show the distinctive features of the language variety or genre they belong to:

What kind of text

Whatkindof text?

  • Whatkindof text do youexpectwhenyouread:’once upon a time ….’

  • Whatkindof text do youexpectwhenyouread:’ therewasanEnglishman, anIrishman and a Scotsman …..

  • Here are threejumbledtexts can yousortthem out?

Graphic features

Graphic features

  • Graphic features: the general presentation and organisation of the written language, defined in terms of such factors as distinctive typography, page design, spacing, use of illustrations, and colour; for example, the variety of newspaper English (headlines, columns, captions)

Orthographic or graphological

Orthographic or graphological

  • Orthographic or graphological features: the writing system of an individual language, distinctive use of the alphabet, capital letters, spelling, punctuation, and ways of expressing emphasis (italics, bold, underlining) eg. English vs. American newspapers, advertisements (Beanz meanz Heinz), websites and names e.g. weblingu@; text messages: U r, gr8

Lexical features

Lexical features

  • Lexical features: the vocabulary of a language

  • defined in terms of the set of words and idioms given distinctive use within a variety;

  • for example, legal English employs such expressions as heretofore, alleged and Latin expressions such as sub judice

Grammatical features

Grammatical features

  • Grammatical features: the many possibilities of syntax and morphology, defined in terms of such factors as the distinctive use of sentence structure word order, and word inflections;

  • for example, religious English makes use of archaic second person singular set of pronouns (thou, thee, thine)

  • Informal English uses contracted forms

Discourse features

Discourse features

  • discourse features: the structural organisation of a text, defined in terms of such factors as coherence, relevance, paragraph structure, and the logical progression of ideas;

  • for example, a journal paper within scientific English typically consists of a fixed sequence of sections including the abstract, introduction, methodology, results, discussion and conclusion

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  • Often the distinction is not so much between written and spoken but rather between whether a text is produced in a context dependent situation and whether it is planned or unplanned

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Context dependent


Context independent

  • a political speech

  • a conversation in a shop

  • an academic lecture

  • a phone call to a friend

  • a joke

  • TV news broadcast

  • a novel

  • a sign e.g. ‘no bicycles’

  • a magazine article

  • chat

  • a letter

  • a form

Can you you place these texts on the continuum?

And more

And more…

  • Some useful study material



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  • Youwillbeanalysingtexts on thesedifferentlevelsfor the resourcesofevaluation and attribution

  • Some choices are predictableby the text type

  • Othersmaybe more marked

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