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Academic year
Didactic period
Primo Semestre

Training objectives

The objective of the course is for students to acquire linguistic and communicative competences in English at the B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Students will develop reading, writing, and listening skills in the field of chemical sciences.

At the end of the course, students will acquire the following abilities:
- a good knowledge of the phonological, morphological, syntactical and semantic aspects of the English language (at the B2 CEFR level);
- a good understanding of the syntactic and lexical characteristics of the specialized language of chemistry;
- comprehension of (oral and written) texts concerning the field of chemical sciences;
- use of the English language in a flexible and effective manner for professional purposes.



Course programme

The course is organised in two modules:
Module A: 30 hours of grammar instruction at the B1 CEFR level to introduce students to the main phonological, morphological, syntactical and semantic aspects of the English language.

Module B: 18 hours of instruction in English for the specific field of chemistry to provide students with the descriptive and metalinguistic tools to foster language awareness and reflection on the English language by means of the study of authentic materials related to the field of chemistry, to laboratory research and to the possible applications of the chemical sciences in professional domains.

The grammar module will face the following topics:

Present and Past Tenses
Past Tenses
Present perfect and past
Future Tenses
Narrative Tenses
Passive form
Reported speech
Questions and auxiliary verbs
-ing and to
Articles and nouns
Pronouns and determiners
Relative Pronouns and Relative Clauses
Adjectives and Adverbs
Comparatives and Superlatives
Conjunctions and prepositions
Conditional Clauses (zero, first, second, and third, mixed)
Phrasal verbs
For English for Specific Purposes a text of Professional English will be used (see: Reference texts). Here follows an overview of the topics that will be covered:

Planning a career in science and applying for funding
Writing a scientific CV
Communicating with the scientific community
Using evidence in arguing a point and doing a review
Designing an experiment and evaluating the results
Describing data, materials and methods
Taking notes in the lab
Discussing results: writing and organizing the discussion
Presenting results: writing an abstract and attending conferences
Content Specific Vocabulary

Didactic methods

The course is organised in two modules:
Module A: 30 hours dedicated to grammar at the B2 CEFR level will be videorecorded and available online on the e-learning platform that students can access with their UNIFE credentials.
Modulo B: 18 hours of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) instruction will take place face to face, in class. ESP classes will apply a series of techniques to present specialized language to students, among which the analysis of technical-scientific texts, scientific articles and public articles, and descriptive texts from which to deduce specific lexicon.
NB: There may be variations in the aforedescribed methods based on the epidemiological situation.

Learning assessment procedures

The final exam is written and concerns the course content and materials of the two modules. The objective of the final exam is to verify the extent to which students have reached the aforementioned course objectives.

The final exam consists of multiple-choice questions: 16 grammar questions on the topics covered in the online course segment (Module A), followed by 15 ESP questions on the topics of Module B. Students are not allowed to use a dictionary (neither monolingual nor bilingual).

Each question that is answered correctly results in the attribution of 1 point and each skipped or wrong answer results in null points. Students who obtain at least a 60% on the exam achieve a passing mark.

Students who have obtained a language certification, among those that are accepted, are exonerated from the exam. Students in possession of one of the accepted certifications (listed at: and interested in validating the "English Language" exam can submit an application for recognition of the certification to the Career Office (Ufficio Carriere) by 30 November of the year of enrollment in which the instruction of the course occurs along with the original certificate and a photocopy. The Career Office will validate the exam.

Exams will take place in person or online (Moodle platform) based on the epidemiological situation.

Reference texts

For Module A:
R. Murphy, English Grammar in Use. A self-study reference and practice book for intermediate learners of English. 5th edition. Cambridge University Press (2019). ISBN: 9781108457651
For Module B:
T. Armer, Cambridge English for Scientists, Cambridge University Press (2011). ISBN: 9780521154093