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Module description - Acting English (Elective)

ECTS 2.0
Level C1
Overview British comedy has profoundly influenced Anglo-Saxon popular culture and even left its stamp on the English language. For many people across the world, it is now a gateway to British culture and provides them with a way to improve their English while enjoying themselves ('gain without pain')

Course content:

  • history and theory of comedy, comic genres and types of humour
  • British TV comedy (with special reference to the sitcom)
  • recent production and available material/sources
  • selected screenplays in their cultural/social/economic/political context
  • vocabulary and idiom from selected screenplays
  • principles of pronunciation and prosody (pause, intonation, rhythm etc.)
  • textual explication of selected screenplays with discussion of individual points and (where appropriate) informal performance of scenes in groups
  • varieties of English, conversational routines
  • DVD recordings of original performances
Learning objectives Upon successful completion of the module, participants will:

  • understand the cultural importance of British comedy and appreciate its potential for language learning also in the longer term
  • have a broad overview of English TV comedy and detailed first-hand knowledge of several screenplays and the comedy series of which they are a part
  • be able to read from a script paying attention to pronunciation and prosody (pause, intonation, rhythm) and to details of vocabulary and idiom
  • be able to engage with a comic text/performance and analyze its comic effect, showing an awareness of comic genres and types of humour
  • be familiar with the English/Anglo-Saxon cultural, social, economic and political context of selected screenplays
  • understand and appreciate aspects of English often neglected in regular language teaching: language varieties (dialect, sociolect, slang etc.), conversational routines/social scripts (e.g. English weather-talk) etc.
Previous knowledge

  • Entry based on placement test or successful completion of e4/ten2. Language level C1 or above.

Exam format Continuous assessment grade
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