The course works on two levels. On one hand, we delve deeply into the vocabulary and linguistic structures from the field through listening and reading assignments, learning how to decipher the meaning of new words and phrases through context, how to broaden our vocabulary range through word-building, and how to analyse complex texts. This input is balanced by output in the form of writing and speaking, either in class discussions or in formal group presentations. Our areas of specialist interest will include macroeconomics; economics, globalization and sustainability; economics and technology; the economics of healthcare, sport and agriculture; microfinance; labour markets; and strategy, policy and economic change.
On the other hand, we learn about and practice important language skills such as note-taking in lectures, planning and writing reports and essays, evaluating sources and discussing figures and trends. A special four-hour unit on presentation skills will bring into focus techniques and vocabulary for speaking in public in English.
English for Economics – which should not be confused with Business English – is taught over two semesters in the second year. It is suitable for students who have already achieved a good intermediate level of general English. Students will be divided into small study groups and will be expected to prepare discussion points and other input together in advance of most sessions. As with all language courses, students will also be expected to devote a fair amount of private study time to developing their vocabulary and be able to demonstrate this work in progress. Students should register for the iCorsi Platform, where important information and extra material will be placed as the course progresses.
Assessment is by final examination at the end of the second semester, and will include written and listening comprehension, along with an essay or other written piece. Speaking skills will be assessed on group presentation at the end of the course.
Consistent attendance and participation in class will also be reflected in the final grade. To sit the final examination, students must either present an external certification (recognized by USI) confirming the attainment of the B2 level, or pass the B2 test organized by the Faculty at the end of the first year (summer and autumn sessions), on completion of the one-year support class designed with that purpose in mind.
Course book: Roberts, M., English for Economics, Garnet Education, 2012
Other recommended texts: The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Macmillan 2018; Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, OUP; Murphy, R. English Grammar in Use, CUP, 2012