Universität Wien FIND
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340195 UE Textkompetenz schriftlich: Englisch (2017W)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 34 - Translationswissenschaft
Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung



max. 30 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

Freitag 13.10. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3 ZfT Gymnasiumstraße 50 3.OG
Freitag 20.10. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3 ZfT Gymnasiumstraße 50 3.OG
Freitag 27.10. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3 ZfT Gymnasiumstraße 50 3.OG
Freitag 03.11. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3 ZfT Gymnasiumstraße 50 3.OG
Freitag 10.11. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3 ZfT Gymnasiumstraße 50 3.OG
Freitag 17.11. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3 ZfT Gymnasiumstraße 50 3.OG
Freitag 24.11. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3 ZfT Gymnasiumstraße 50 3.OG
Freitag 01.12. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3 ZfT Gymnasiumstraße 50 3.OG
Freitag 15.12. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3 ZfT Gymnasiumstraße 50 3.OG
Freitag 12.01. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3 ZfT Gymnasiumstraße 50 3.OG
Freitag 19.01. 08:00 - 09:30 Hörsaal 3 ZfT Gymnasiumstraße 50 3.OG


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

In this class on textual literacy you will experience a challenging but cooperative, collaborative and supportive environment in which you can experiment with your own individual communicative resources (metaphor of repertoire: whatever you bring to this class – let’s play with it, strengthen it, further develop it!). Classroom cohesion will be of vital importance because it contributes to reducing fear of embarrassment. We shall aim at group accomplishment – with regular peer reviews in and out of class. It is important to note that peer review does not aim at intervention and (immediate) change (i.e. we won’t discuss do’s and don’ts; no simple cause-effect relationships). Peer reviewing can help us to gain a more realistic assessment of our own (textual) agency. It strengthens reflection on matters of choice, alternative and consequence (intended (writers) and experienced (readers) impact).

This class is no casting show. We won’t compare individual achievement. Students will come from various backgrounds and walks of life with highly varied communicative resources. A passing grade means that you have visibly reduced fear of doing something inappropriate or wrong (no linguistic policing) and strengthened or even widened your individual repertoire. Two maxims will guide our work in class: clarity & impact.

“There is no right language or wrong language any more than there are right or wrong clothes.” (Stephen Fry) In this class you won’t dance to somebody’s tune (standards, text types, templates) but try to develop your own way(s) of writing (rhythm/sound; setting the stage). This, of course, does not mean disregarding or even countering socially recognized forms of writing and their characteristics (typifying, e.g., textual elements/functions as descriptive, expository, assertive, directive, commissive, expressive, declarative, phatic, narrative, etc.). But our class will open up room for contrepoints (and contre-rôles).

“Language [and in our case: textual literacy] isn’t about words, or information, or things.” (Cooke 2011) It’s always about us and those who join us (i.e. our readers).” To us, texts are social/interactional events (not sealed containers or manufactured products). Before we charge a text with a certain function we will need to create a fabric that readers would like to look at in the first place. Connecting to others – drawing/grabbing/capturing attention, modulating attention processes, gaining back attention (triggers, stimuli); how to build trust? how to keep our readers motivated?, how to keep them on track? – and making meaning are multidimensional phenomena. The impact of a textual event is never simply due to the fabric itself (its make-up, its characteristics) – meaning is never found in the text alone. You (as author/creator/composer) can never ‘pull the trick’ on your own. We always need the other to come in … to join in in (mutually) making meaning. And, finally – mind you – any piece of writing is created/received against a background (or foreground) of other texts (confirmative, contrastive, disruptive …) or a structure of absence (everything that is left out or not done due to contextual constraints).

Put into practice, our story goes like this: ‘There and back again. A writer’s tale.’ --- From nothingness to idea … character/letter, morpheme, word, collocation/expression/idiom, clause, sentence, paragraph, text (multisensual), (discourse) … … … to clean slate revisited. In your weekly assignments you will be dealing with everyday life texts, academic texts, art texts, business texts, health texts ...

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

Time and again, our classroom work will take us from reflex to reflexion: ‘Know your audience!’ – is there really a way …? ‘Communicate effectively!’ – to whose benefit? ‘Act authentically!’ – how to when you have to tell somebody else’s story? Our class will also raise awareness of the effects of the McDonaldization of linguistic action (Ritzer 1996, Cameron 2000, Moraru 2010) – the one and only (globalized) way of speaking.

Weekly assignments (group work)
+ 2 Tests

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

Participation & attendance: 10 points
Assignments & reading responses: 20 points,
Peer feedback (written/out of class and f2f in class): 20 points
Test (#1): 25 points
Test (#2): 25 points
TOTAL 100 points (≥90 =1, ≥80=2, ≥70=3, ≥50=4)
In order to pass the course, students must attain a passing grade on at least one test.
(Permitted materials and equipment: no restrictions.)

We can all create our own fabric. There are many ways … of writing … reading … Let’s be like foxes, making “more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction” (Berry 1991). If we all pull the same trick (templates and standards and text types; standardization = pre-empting choice and commodification of ways of speaking) we will be easily replaced. (A quick piece of advice: As soon as the marketeers can predict the motions of your mind, lose it!) So, let’s try and catch lightning in a bottle … I am sure you are all hungry for an edge.


Both tests will be based on the weekly assignments and our reflections in class.
Reading material provided - check out our textual literacy cyber library!


By understanding English as a pluricentric code (Global Englishes, Lingua Franca Englishes, Translingual Englishes) this class encourages rethinking deeply entrenched notions of language as quasi natural (and thus neutral) stable structures or entities (traceable, dissectable, measurable) that can be linked to similarly stable speech communities (with the idea of ‘native speakers’ as ‘ideal’ representatives).
Acknowledging pluricentricity immediately brings questions of language ideology, the politics of linguistics, and notions of prestige, authority, privilege and arrogance to the fore. If we hear many accents or pronunciations but ‘receive’ (and thus accept) just one of them (Received Pronunciation), then the implication is that others should be rejected or refused (and, by the by, who received it?). Acknowledging the pluricentricity of the English language continuum opens our classroom doors to all of its speakers, with their individual or group-related ways of speaking (and listening, or writing and reading). Here, working in Englishes means entering a continual process of variation.
There are many ways of how people in various walks of life negotiate meaning and co-construct their means of communication, accommodate to each other, and draw on their heteroglossic repertoires within the English-speaking continuum. Treating everything that is beyond Her Majesty’s or Uncle Sam’s grammar as exception (or even stigmatizing it as deviation/aberration: ‘defective’/‘bad’/‘broken’/‘terrible’/) also means reducing our scope of action to a minimum (self-confinement). This class will introduce you to varieties of English with which most of you probably have had little or no experience so far (but quite realistically might come across in professional life), thus countering deficit-orientation – memba? there are many ways! – and facilitating adaptation to variation.

Goldberg, Natalie. 2005. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. Boston (MA): Shambhala.
Jacquemet, Marco. 2005. Transidiomatic practices: Language and power in the age of globalization. Language & Communication 25, 257-277.
Lebrun, Jean-Luc. 2010. Scientific writing: A reader and writer's guide. Singapore: World Scientific.
Mesthrie, Rajend & Rakesh M. Bhatt. 2008. World Englishes: The Study of new linguistic varieties. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Miller, Brenda & Paola, Suzanne. 2012. Tell It Slant! Writing and shaping creative nonfiction. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Olson, Randy. 2009. Don’t be such a scientist. Talking substance in an age of style. Washington: Island Press.
Pennycook, Alastair. 2008. Translingual English. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics 31 (3), 301-309.
Schneider, Edgar W. & Bernd Kortmann (eds.). 2008. Varieties of English. 4 Volumes. Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter.
Seidlhofer, Barbara. 2011. Understanding English as a Lingua Franca. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Simo Bobda, Augustin. 1997. The phonologies of Nigerian English and Cameroon English. In Ayo Bamgbose, Ayo Banjo & Andrew Thomas (eds.), New Englishes – A West African perspective, 248–268. Trenton [NJ]: Africa World Press.
Strunk, William. 1918. The Elements of Style. New York: Macmillan.
Sword, Helen. 2012. Stylish Academic Writing. Boston (MA): Harvard University Press.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Letzte Änderung: Mo 18.12.2017 13:49