Elective Courses 2019/20

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”):

Language and the World (IV)
dr Dorota Klimek-Jankowska

All over the world people use around 6000 languages. Obviously, languages vary, but what is amazing is that this variation is systematic and largely predictable. Languages from different language families and from geographically unrelated areas share many phonological, structural and semantic properties. In this course, we will focus on language variation. More specifically, we will discuss: (i) interesting facts about different languages and language families of the world; (ii) different varieties of English; (iii) intercultural differences in communication. The students will learn to prepare presentations in Prezi and create websites in Wordpress. They will also be involved in joint projects. More information available here: https://lingfun.wordpress.com/language-and-the-world/


A one-semester introduction to applied film studies developing students’ intellectual, aesthetic and cognitive capacities to understand and appreciate the Anglophone film as a cultural text. Theme-relevant analyses of selected British and American films will allow students to expand their hermeneutical skills necessary in the processes of image interpretation and to acknowledge moving image as a communication channel within the context of the English cultures – as well as to consider broader culture-inspired and culture-shaping contexts of the respective films. Aspects of film-language literacy will be = including mise-en-scène tools of color, composition, volume, shot size, camera angle and axis. Narrative tools, character-development and structural components will be the spine of the analyses.

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


prof. Leszek Berezowski - English around the world.

A survey of the varieties of English used in England, Scotland, Ireland, the USA, Canada, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and host of exotic islands, e.g. Pitcairn Island or Saint Helena. The survey covers key local features of grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary, sound samples and bits of history explaining how English came to be spoken in all these locations.

dr Piotr Czajka - Introduction to theory of communication

Course objectives:

To present theory of communication as a multidimensional academic discipline

To introduce students to the complexity of the process of interpersonal communication and a to various methods of its description

Course content:

The first two lectures will be devoted to the place that theory of communication—as a research into the ways of creating meanings—occupies among other sciences. Particularly emphasized will be one feature of communication studies: they are interdisciplinary, i.e. they embrace the findings of linguistics, semiotics, psychology, and sociology, to mention but a few. The subsequent lectures will cover the problems of forms of communication, functions of communication, elements of communication, effectiveness of communication, and ethics of communication. Then the process of communication will be viewed as depending on individuals (the question of self, needs, attitudes, expectations, credibility), social context (the question of social roles, power, gender), and culture (the question of intercultural communication). Finally, the last two series of lectures will be devoted to nonverbal communication (its channels and functions) and mass communication (media and their role in the society).

dr hab. Anna Budziak, prof. UWr - “Editing and Self-editing”

The course aims at making students aware of the pitfalls of the academic style of writing and of the ways to avoid them.  One of its objectives is to show how bad style— including the use of jargon, euphemism and needless abstraction— makes ideas difficult to comprehend. Its other goal is practical: it is to provide students with the criteria they can deploy to judge their own style of writing and with the standards they can use to improve it.  We will read texts by eminent stylists, including novelists (Orwell and Vonnegut) and cognitivists (Stephen Pinker).  The majority of materials—including exercises gleaned from several handbooks of style and short excerpts from the texts written by the students of English— will be provided by the instructor.

The course teaches students how to

  1. correct their own writing
  2. edit the texts written by others, explain fallacies, and propose alternative solutions
  3. add a flair to the way they handle abstract ideas

dr hab. Mariusz Marszalski, prof. UWr - Understanding Poetry

As Encyclopaedia Britannica puts it, poetry is “literature that evokes a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience or a specific emotional response through language chosen and arranged for its meaning, sound, and rhythm.” To many people nowadays, even these few words of technical definition sound forbidding. Why read poetry, they tend to ask, as they find it old, dead, boring, elitist, hard and unnecessarily cryptic. We can read a book of fiction and enjoy it because we understand it, and understanding makes a difference. It is not always so with poetry that all too often frustrates us, making us feel we have been promised a thing of beauty and then left in the lurch. But is our sense of frustration reason enough to give up on poetry? Would it not be like throwing the baby out with the bathwater? Asked to judge which of the two – walking or dancing – is more enjoyable, most of us would probably readily name the latter. And meaningfully, the French poet Paul Valery once said that prose is walking while poetry dancing. It seems a shame we should shy away from dancing because we do not know the steps and moves. The same with poetry. It is perhaps not the most accessible form of literature, but its rewards might surprise you. What you need to make it work for you is a key of understanding that this course intends to offer.

dr hab. Anna Mystkowska-Wiertelak - Issues in Classroom Pedagogy and Second Language Research

The course will address various ways in which foreign language pedagogy can benefit from recent developments in second language acquisition research. The main emphasis will be put on the presentation and discussion of recent research findings in such areas as learner autonomy and engagement, form-focused instruction (e.g., focus-on-form or input processing), motivation (including the concept of international posture, ideal L2 self, willingness to communicate, flow and directed motivational currents).


  1. Learner autonomy – dialogic construction of knowledge
  2. Learner engagement and learning outcomes
  3. How to teach grammar – focus on form, input processing and processing instruction
  4. Motivation frameworks
  5. International posture and intercultural communicative competence
  6. Willingness to communicate
  7. Positive psychology - capitalizing on individual differences
  8. Flow, enjoyment, directed motivational currents in language learning
dr Adam Biały - Language Varieties – a Sociolinguistic Perspective
Tutor: Adam Biały, Phd ( .pl)
Course description:
This course is on the study of the relationship between language and society. It will look at variation at all levels of
language and how such variation relates to speakers’ identity and culture. The focus will be on language variation
across regions, ethnicity, social class, gender, age, etc. An exploration of attitudes and ideologies about these
varieties will be of particular importance to understanding this relationship. A major focus will be on co-existing
languages and and how languages can complement or replace each other or even result in new languages.
Topics to be discussed
1. Introduction to sociolinguistics.
2. Language and culture.
3. Multilingual communities.
4. Dialects.
5. Gender.
6. Social networks.
7. Style and register.
8. Phonological variability.
9. Lexical variability.
10. Morpho-syntactic variability.
11. Pragmatic variability.
12. Lingua francas and EFL.
13. Language change and language death.
14. Linguistic principles and parameters: the scope of variability.
Grading criteria:
Students will be graded on the basis of the result of the final test (or final paper), class participation and
Selected resources:
Holmes, J. 2013. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Routledge.
Labov, W. 1972. "The Social Stratification of (R) in New York City Department Stores." In Sociolinguistic Patterns
43-69. Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press.
Trudgill, P. 1983. "Acts of Conflicting Identity: The Sociolinguistics of British Pop-Song Pronunciation." In Trudgill,
P. (ed.), On Dialect. Oxford: Blackwell.
Wardhaugh, R. and Fuller J. M. 2015. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Wiley Blackwell.


prof. Leszek Berezowski -
US culture for translators

A survey of American culture topics any translator has to be aware of, e.g. baseball, football (the real one), rodeo, American food, elections, driving, guns, the wild west, imperial measures, college life, severe weather, etc. The class covers key traditions, their origins, vocabulary, and significance.

dr Małgorzata Jedynak- HOGWART- LIKE SCHOOLS  AND  BRAIN-FRIENDLY TEACHING. (How neuroscience insights can be used to improve language education)

Is it possible to create Hogwart-like schools in Poland where language teachers, pupils and their parents coexist together and inspire each other? This vision may seem distant like a fairy tale.... yet... may become reality.

During the course we will be discussing the ways of re-engineering language education drawing from the recent achievements in neuro-sciences. After the course you will know what should be modified in the current language education policies and practices to make the system serve teachers, pupils and parents. Discussing the possible remedies to the language education problems I will rely on the interviews conducted with language teachers, primary school learners and their parents.

dr Marcin Tereszewski - Dystopian Fiction, Architecture and J.G. Ballard

From Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four to the current slew of dystopian books and movies, twentieth century literature is replete with visions of failed societies and apocalyptic futures. Perhaps, following Salman Rushdie’s assessment, this is because we are now in the midst of “one of the greatest hinge periods of human history,” with technological, political and ecological change occurring at an unprecedented rate, forcing us to reevaluate definitions which were held to be stable. The premise of this course is, therefore, that utopian/dystopian thought is relevant to contemporary social problems and challenges, such as economic inequality, the dehumanizing effects of technology, providing us with not only warnings of future calamities but a speculative platform from which to approach social questions in a new way by redefining the very assumptions of those questions.  

In this course we will trace the evolution of this problematic genre by examining some of the most influential dystopian narratives in film, literature, and also architecture. We will discuss how urbanism and architecture also play a role in the utopian/dystopian imagery that informs literary work. Starting with E.M. Forster, we will finish with one of the most important writers of New Wave science fiction, J.G. Ballard. We will also look at how dystopian narratives are presented in contemporary culture (Black Mirror). Our reading of this literature will explore the philosophical ideas, political systems, social issues and cultural trends that contribute to the ideological framework of a particular dystopian narrative.



prof. Leszek Berezowski -
English grammar for translators

The translator never knows what kind of grammar the author of the original is going to use and has to be prepared for anything. To make you ready for that, the course covers a variety of grammar topics which are usually given little prominence in standard grammar classes, e.g. non-finite clauses, prepositional passives, sentences with strange subjects and weird word orders, unusual noun modifiers or double negation. The course is a sequel of a class I taught in the fall semester, but the topics do not repeat and completing the fall course is not a prerequisite for choosing this one.

dr hab. Dominika Ferens - Affect and Race in American Literature

Are emotions innate responses to stimuli or are they shaped by culture? Where in the body do emotions reside? Who has the right to express certain emotions, such as anger or tenderness, and who doesn’t? What role do emotions play in ideological struggles? What good does compassion do? What are the social functions of shaming? What is shame and how can it be resisted? Whose death evokes grief and whose doesn’t? What’s race got to do with it?

These are some of the questions we will attempt to answer during the course. We will use a combination current theories of affects/emotions and critical race theory to explore selected aspects of race relations in the United States, including slave-master relations, segregation in suburban housing, relations between whites, Native Americans, and Asian Americans, as well as attitudes to racial mixing at various historical moments. We will consider a wide spectrum of affects/emotions, from fear, anger, contempt, disgust, and shame at the negative end, to interest and enjoyment at the positive end. By looking at the work of affects in literature and film, we will see how they trigger one another, how they move between bodies, and how they are knowingly used by some to evoke, modulate, or suppress the affects/emotions of others. Examples from mixed-race literature written at various moments in the 20th century, will allow us to see a variety of formal strategies for dealing with the emotionally loaded subject of miscegenation. We will also ask whether literature, which engages readers emotionally, can potentially alter race relations.

prof. Tadeusz Piotrowski - Lexical resources

This course will discuss lexical resources, which are needed for various groups of users: machines (lexical databases) and humans (lexical databases, more traditional dictionaries), and it will focus on the needs of a contemporary user of a language, such as translator, teacher, or researcher.