Language and Culture in the U.S.A.
Wednesday 9 -11 Room 10 vSR
Office Hours Wednesday 11-13 Room 24 vSR
The course will briefly examine the historical development of English in the world, and then consider the major differences between British and North American standard English, and the principal varieties of English in North America today. Then, from an intercultural and primarily sociolinguistic perspective, the course will look at the historical and socio-cultural significance of certain holidays and traditions originating and/or celebrated in the U.S.A. (including Thanksgiving, Columbus Day, Halloween, May Day (May 1st), International Women’s Day, Gay Pride, Martin Luther King Day). Each lesson will have a strong lexical component, with the intention of expanding students’ knowledge and use of vocabulary. Class work and discussion will be based on selected language exercises and some reading (pp. 1-7, 336-383 from A Survey of Modern English, S. Gramley & K. Pätzoid) made available by the instructor. Students will be required to do a short essay (minimum 700 words) based on their research on the Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation website. At the end of the semester, students will be evaluated with a written examination on the basis of their knowledge of the subjects and material covered both in lessons and in the required reading. The student’s participation in class discussion will also be taken into account in determining the final course grade.