Varieties of English [Cognomi A-L] (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturers
Roberto Cagliero, Valeria Franceschi
Roberto Cagliero
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre (Lingue e letterature straniere) dal Feb 15, 2021 al May 29, 2021.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course is aimed at illustrating the development and diversification of the English language in its varieties. It is also aimed at shedding light on the factors that have determined the emergence of Englishes in their plurality and at providing insights into linguistic, cultural and ideological issues related to the diverse contexts and uses of Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) in the world. Specific attention to African American English will be paid in the second part of the course. Language competence in English to be acquired: C2 level - Common European Framework of Reference for languages.


During the course we will cover and discuss aspects related to the historical evolution of the English language, its spread and its geographical diversification. In the first part of the course, attention will be paid on phenomena of linguistic and cultural context and on processes of language change in the different contexts of use of the English language, including its role as a global language, also within the professional context.
AAVE as a variety of English will be the focus of the second part of the course.

Main Topics of the course:
Key concepts in the study of English(es)
Models for understanding the spread of English
Language contact phenomena: hybridity in World Englishes, English-based pidgins and creoles
English in different areas of the world
English as a global language: English as a Lingua Franca and English as Business Lingua Franca.
AAVE between linguistics and politics

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Tottie, G. An Introduction to American English Blackwell 2002
Schneider E. English Around the World Cambridge University Press 2011
Spike Lee Get on the Bus (film) 1996
Wolfram, W. and E.R. Thomas The Development ofd African American English Blackwell 2002
Kautzsch The Historical Evolution of Earlier African American English. Mouton de Gruyter 2002
Kankaanranta, Anne & Louhiala-Salminen, Leena "What language does global business speak?" - The concept and development of BELF. Iberica. 26 2013 This is an article published in the journal Ibérica 26 (2013): 17-34

Assessment methods and criteria

Pre-requisite: C2 level language certificate (Common European Framework of Reference), obtained through CLA or through external institutions and validated by the CLA

Type of exam: Oral exam in English. The questions will be on the theoretical issues and examples of English varieties covered in the course. Students should demonstrate metalinguistic awareness, analytical skills and critical thinking.

Students may give, on the day of the exam, a short presentation on a specific topic or variety of English of their choice. Such a presentation will be one of the topics discussed during the exam.