Elective Courses 2018/19

Year 2 and 3 B.A. ELECTIVE COURSES (3 ECTS) / 2 DSL i 3 DSL (razem) ZAJĘCIA FAKULTATYWNE, lista A (realizują tylko studenci, którzy wybrali program studiów ze “ścieżką filologiczną”):

1. Dorota Klimek-Jankowska - Language and mind

The goal of the Language and mindcourse is to acquaint students with the mysteries of the human brain in a friendly way. The focus will be on the following topics: the seeing brain, the attending brain, the acting brain, the remembering brain, the hearing brain, the speaking brain, the literate brain, the numerate brain, the executive brain, the social and emotional brain. Each of these topics will be accompanied with related intriguing questions such as for example the cognitive advantages of bilingualism, the relation between language and music, the role of memory in second language acquisition. All the topics will be discussed on the basis of multiple resources, which will considerably improve the class dynamics. Students will learn how to design and program a simple reaction time experiment using a specialized software. Students will also learn how to use augmented reality in preparing a presentation. Students will be engaged in joint projects and tasks.

2. Katarzyna Sówka-Pietraszewska

The language we speak every day is in a state of constant flux, e.g., Pol. To jest przepycha (N). ‘It is extremely delicious’ or Eng. I spent a fab time here. from fabulous. A big question is why we change the way we speak. In this course, by examining various types of changes, i.e., phonological, morphological, semantic, and syntactic, we will develop an understanding of the nature of language change and next talk about the ways in which changes spread through speech communities. This course provides an understanding of Sociolinguistics – the study of the relationship between language and society and Historical Linguistics – the study of how language changes over time. During the process of introducing the theories and methods used in these two interrelated areas of studying language change, the students will be engaged in hands-on analysis of data.

3. Mariusz Marszalski


Year 3 B.A. ELECTIVE COURSES (4 ECTS) / 3 DSL ZAJĘCIA FAKULTATYWNE, lista B (realizują wszyscy studenci):

1. Anna Klimas - Optional course: Classroom research

This course will provide participants with an opportunity to establish or advance their understanding of classroom research. For this purpose, the scope of and current trends in classroom research will be reviewed so that participants will have a working knowledge of how to design and evaluate their own research projects. Focus will be on basic principles and methodologies used in classroom research. Moreover, participants will be acquainted with the ways of designing their own data collection instruments, such as questionnaires and observation sheets. The ways of analysing and presenting data will be also discussed. Participants will be involved in a group project during which they will learn how to plan and conduct classroom research as well as analyse and present its findings.


The focus of this course is on cognitive linguistics, as understood by researchers like R. W. Langacker, L. Talmy, and G. Lakoff, for whom language is a cognitive instrument which serves to organize, process, and transmit information. The aim of this course is to provide undergraduate students with a basic overview of the psychological foundations of cognitive linguistics and the most prominent approaches making up this modern school of linguistic thought.

3. Dorota Kołodziejczyk - Cultural Difference in a Global Culture - Comparative and Translation Studies Approach

The course offers a comprehensive insight into key problems of cultural difference in a globalized world. Combining postcolonial and comparative studies with translation studies, the course aims to develop the awareness of difference – locality, specificity, non-normativity through literary and cultural translation case studies and strategies. Orientalization and exoticization will be among several forms of othering to be discussed during the class, as well as hybrid forms arising from waves of migrations in a post-colonial era.
Participants will study basic problems in comparative literature combined with translation theory and learn to understand its contexts – problems of globalization, the dynamic change of societies in terms of their ethnic, national and class structures, the immediacy of cultural transfer in the context of digital media, the expanding role of English as the language of global communication and the influence of this phenomenon on the concept of world literature and comparative studies.

4. Anna Pilińska - Long Story Short: XX-century American Short Stories

This course is a survey of American and Latin American short stories written throughout the twentieth century. From the concise style of modernism, through Southern Gothic, American humorists, and writers of experimental fiction, all the way to postmodern stories, the selection of texts offers the students a deeper insight into American literature, history, and culture.

5. Anna Czura - Approaches to language assessment in the primary school context

This course aims to familiarise students with current concepts, procedures and issues in language assessment. Main attention will be paid to formative and alternative approaches to assessment in primary school (e.g. portfolio, observation, self- and peer-assessment). Students will also gain experience in analysing the quality of standardized tests and in constructing their own testing instruments. The course is addressed to students with at least B2 level of English.

6. Elżbieta Klimek-Dominiak - American Diversity in Short Fiction, Film and Comics

American short fiction, films and comics provide a fascinating opportunity to reflect on Americans of multiple backgrounds and to understand divergent points of view. In this course we will explore short verbal, graphic and cinematic narratives which often use irony and subversive humor to challenge cultural stereotypes and shatter social taboos. Theoretical concepts, which will be introduced in our discussions, are indispensable not only for writing about American culture but also for understanding cultural diversity and working in the globalizing world. Students will also acquire a combination of visual and verbal literacy, which is an important skill in many professions dealing with international communication dominated by multimedia. The class will include a guest talk on comics by a Canadian scholar.

7. Tadeusz Piotrowski

Global English can mean either native English as the first language used globally, or English used as the second, foreign, etc., used as a global system of communication (an international lingua franca). In this course we shall look into both types. English as a global system of communication leads also to the question: what the likely future of English could be, and whether the hypothetical future can have an influence on prospects of students.



1. Tadeusz Piotrowski - The lexicon: practical approaches

IN the course we will look at various ways of acquiring knowledge about lexical items (words), primarily in English, useful not only to a researcher but also to any user such as a translator or a teacher, or a person interested in computer language processing, who can find in them data to populate the models. The course will be practical, that is, students will study on their own, most often in the class, lexical descriptions of different sorts. This will include production of a description of a lexical unit from empirical data. The course will finish with an individual project by students.

2. Anna Czura - Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) in course design

The course offers an overview of the main tenets of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) and their application in instructional planning. By the end of the course, the students will acquire skills and knowledge necessary to design a course/programme syllabus. Additionally, a number of other important European tools supporting language learning and teaching will be discussed.

3. Zofia Kolbuszewska - Forensic Imagination in American Literature and Culture

The course focuses on analyzing and comprehending a crucial role played by forensic imagination in the transformations of contemporary American literature and culture and global (post)modernity, pointing to historical roots of forensic imagination in the Puritan obsession of reading signs and obsessive contemplation of guilt and demonstrating a connection between forensic imagination and gothic convention, colonial/postcolonial studies as well as media and literary representations of exact sciences. Students will become familiar with  theoretical texts and films on forensic imagination and those showing its operation, and will be invited to reflect on the difference between  a narrow understanding of the term which is based on laboratory research, mathematical accuracy and rationality, and the broad definition of forensic imagination which apart from expert knowledge also embraces imagination, artistic sensibility and intuition. The students will acquire basic terminology concerning forensics, crime scene investigation, and forensic imagination.  


What is "such stuff that subtext is made on"? How can the elements become subtextual statements? The class is a hermeneutic exploration of the phenomenon of subtext in film per se, based on the cinematic Romeo and Juliets. Aspects of film-language-based tools of subtext formation will be analyzed, including motif, space, mise-en-scene, camera work and emotional action.

5. Leszek Berezowski - English around the World

The class offers an overview of the varieties of English spoken in the UK, Ireland, the USA, Canada, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Singapore and a selection of exotic islands (e.g. St. Helena, Pitcairn Island, etc.). The discussion focuses on key grammatical and pronunciation features of particular varieties and their historical background. Every student is provided with a course pack including all class materials with sound samples and selected readings.

6. Elżbieta Klimek-Dominiak - Auto/biography in Pictures: Comics, Graphic Novel and Film

Comics, graphic narratives and animated films are no longer considered only juvenile genres focusing on the stock characters endowed with superhuman powers, but they have recently been also recognized as effective modes of expressing complex, often experimental, non-superhero life narratives. In this course we will explore alternative comics, graphic novels, and cinematic auto/biographical narratives, frequently adapted from comics, which often employ irony and subversive humor to break social taboos concerning sexuality, creativity or liminal experiences. Students will acquire a combination of visual and verbal literacy, which is an important skill in many professions dealing with contemporary, international communication dominated by multimedia. The class will include a guest talk by a Canadian comics and life writing scholar from York University.

7. Małgorzata Jedynak - Brain friendly teaching: How can neuroscience improve language education?

Brain-based learning/and teaching or neurodidactics is a relatively new interdisciplinary science constituting an interface between neuroscience, pedagogy and psychology. How does the brain learn? How does it cope with digital technology and multitasking of Google generation? Why are mirror neurons so important for learning? How do modern schools kill curiosity, creativity and passion for learning? Why do they boost suicide rates? Based on the latest findings of brain research, the course will provide answers to the above thought-provoking questions.  It will elaborate not only on neurobiological foundations of learning but also on various brain-based teaching ideas and approaches for FL classroom.


1. Tadeusz Piotrowski - Digital humanities: linguistic data and their analysis

This course will be mostly practical, on how to use digital data to say something sensible about language, or, in other words, how can a translator, or a foreign-language teacher, or a user of a foreign language use those data. The data are most often linguistic corpora, in the course we will learn how to acquire linguistic data, how to process them, how to use corpora and how to interpret the results. The course will be passed on the basis of projects.

2. Lech Zabor

3. Dominika Ferens - Between Literature and Ethnography

Ethnography - a practice of observing other cultures and a mode of writing about them - can be traced back to Herodotus. It is both an everyday activity (for instance, something we do as tourists), and a highly specialized academic practice. Because we associate ethnography with academia, we forget that as late as the 19th century ethnographic writings were part of literature.  We will learn to recognize the characteristic features of ethnography in fiction, as well as elements of novelistic narration in ethnography. We will analyze hybrid and experimental types of cultural description, including autoethnography and mock-ethnography used by members of groups that had traditionally been the objects of ethnography and then claimed the right to represent themselves. Underlying this course is a curiosity about what happens when literature acts like ethnography, or is mistaken for ethnography, or when ethnography acts like literature. Final projects will require students to write autoethnographic essays and present them in class.

4. Maciej Litwin - Understanding contemporary models of language scholarship: The economy of translation studies.

This course is concerned with how many concepts you need to create a viable model of communication across languages, or else -- with the economy of translation studies.
Why is this interesting?
Translation studies is acclaimed as one of the fastest-growing fields in humanities (and deservedly so). But its rapid expansion invites contrasting responses. For many people (including translation scholars), the study of translation is as sublime a philosophical endeavour as men and women will ever aspire to. For others, translation studies is a sophisticated academic industry, where theories are compounded beyond measure.
The point is: a methodological reflection on translation studies today holds a promise of understanding something of the Western mind as it is emerging from the 20th c. philosophical crisis.
What will this course involve?
This course is dedicated to a discussion of approaches to translation studies. The main theme running through each meeting will be the economy of models underlying Englishlanguage translation studies discussions.
The steps taken during the semester will involve the standard scholarly practice of reading important theoretical texts on translation only to discuss them in class. But this will come with an important innovation: we will start in 2012 with Lawrence Venuti’s reflection on translation theory and we will go back to St Jerome’s classic “Letter to Pammachius” drafted in AD 393. In other words, the endpoint of this course will be to view our modern scholarly models of language and translation in light of translation theory formulated two thousand years ago. My promise is that – if you take the pain of an uphill struggle to get there – the view from the top will make you smile.
What should I consider before signing up?
This course will be intensive, but rewarding. Some of the texts proposed in the syllabus will be among the most challenging material you have read at university.  Also, this class is about translation, so the language regime will be English with a lot of
Polish. If you are not comfortable with your Polish, you may feel somewhat alienated when we ponder over niceties of translation examples set in this language. Finally, this course will partly involve turning to theories, times and people that have been largely consigned to oblivion by the modern university discussants. So if you have no interest in the modes of thought and action that shaped Western sensibilities before what we call Modernity, you may feel your intellect is underused in this class.

5. Elżbieta Klimek-Dominiak - Representations of Gender and Violence in Film, Graphic Narrative and Fiction

Contemporary films, graphic novels and fiction often represent diverse models of masculinity, femininity and non-hegemonic sexual subjectivity in the context of prevalent collective, interpersonal, and self-directed violence. In this course we will consider if literal or symbolic acts of witnessing, resisting or giving testimony to gendered, race and class-based violence can help to demystify the master narrative of American collective life by exposing this culture’s denial of its common practices of violence. We will also discuss how films, alternative comics and fictional narratives often challenge America’s cult of violence by powerfully communicating the impact of traumatic experiences, the role of non-violent defiance and by promoting equality as well as nurturing relationships. In addition, we will explore graphic and cinematic adaptations which focus on taboo subjects, use irony and subversive humor to undermine social norms encouraging coercion. The class will include a guest talk by a Canadian comics scholar from York University.

6. Jacek Woźny



1. Leszek Berezowski - English grammar for translators

The lecture covers a range of grammatical topics that are usually bypassed in regular grammar classes but frequently surface in a variety of English texts, which makes them vital for translators. The topics include: unusual uses of the present continuous (e.g. I’m lovin’ it!), the middle voice (e.g. English translates easily), double negation (e.g. We don’t need no education), atypical conditionals (e.g. If it will amuse you, I will tell you a joke), peculiar passives (e.g. The final conclusion was arrived at) or unexpected uses of well-known verbs (e.g. Thank you for having me).

2. Mariusz Marszalski