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Textus. English Studies in Italy

First published in 1988, Textus is the leading journal of English Studies in Italy. Peer reviewed and indexed by the main international databases, it is dedicated to promoting scholarly exchange among Italian and international researchers. Each issue is jointly edited by an Italian and a foreign scholar of international standing and addresses a topical area of language, literature and cultural studies. With its unique coverage of English studies in Italy, Textus is a forum for new critical and theoretical approaches and an invaluable resource for academic research and teaching.

Editor in Chief
Carlo M. Bajetta (Università della Valle D’Aosta)

Editorial Board
Silvia Bruti (Università di Pisa), Stefania Maria Maci (Università degli Studi di Bergamo) e Massimo Sturiale (Università degli Studi di Catania) – English Language Issue
Silvia Antosa (Università degli Studi di Enna “Kore”) e Elisabetta Marino (Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”) –  English Cultural Studies Issue
Carlo M. Bajetta (Università della Valle D’Aosta) e Rocco Coronato (Università degli Studi di Padova) – English Literature Issue

Issues

The tables of contents of the latest and previous issues are available on the publisher’s website:  Textus – English Studies in Italy.

The latest issue of Textus (2020, n.2) is Biopics of British Celebrities (2010s): Recreating Lives for the Screen(s), edited by Maddalena Pennacchia and Deborah Cartmell.

Members interested in editing an issue of Textus must send a proposal to the Editorial Board.

The proposal should include the topic, the names of the editors (member editor, international guest editor and copy editor) and an abstract (500 words max.).

StylesheetTextus_Stylesheet

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***Call for Papers***
TEXTUS: ENGLISH STUDIES IN ITALY, 1, 2022 (LANGUAGE ISSUE)
 
ORAL COMMUNICATION IN ENGLISH:
ESTABLISHED TRENDS, GOOD PRACTICE(S), AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES
Editor: Annalisa Zanola (Università degli Studi di Brescia)
Co-editor: John Gooch (University of Texas at Dallas)
Copy editor: Roxanne Barbara Doerr (Università degli Studi di Brescia)
 
Communicating in English is so widely practised in the international scientific and academic communities worldwide that this language is taken for granted in any national or local context where the first language is not necessarily English. Moreover, this common practice is typified by its very wide variety of users and receivers: both native and non-native speakers with diverse levels of competence in English are required to pursue clear and comprehensible communication in English in their professional or study context of choice in addressing native and non-native speakers of English who are strongly motivated to absorb and assimilate old and new contents in an immediate, effective and efficient way. Oral English is increasingly used as a koiné for study, research and professional purposes, and as an increasingly standardised lingua franca that is mostly spoken as a second language though being the first language of a limited percentage of speakers (Siegel 1985: 359). Nevertheless, as Hymes (1971) had already anticipated, English is actually by no means a koiné, as this would entail it to stabilize and become a primary language. On the contrary, the development of English should be approached within the context of its expansion in contents and roles, and resulting mixture of different varieties.
The problem of the effectiveness of oral communication in (academic and non-academic) technical-scientific contexts requires a preliminary statement of ‘clarity, understandability and effectiveness’ as regards the speakers and listeners we will define as ‘English as an International Language users’, thus extending the target audience of many of today’s international scientific, technical and/or academic English oral texts. To this end, there is an urgent need to take a snapshot of the main difficulties that a speaker or listener (native or non-English speaking) may encounter in approaching international oral scientific contexts (lectures, conferences, debates, dialogues, instructions, explanations and meetings in academic or professional contexts in general). The renowned weakness of the oral English training apparatus in multiple international professional settings is often reported by those who, even after years of uninterrupted study of the language, report lack of success in their performances and the missed attainment or implementation of fixed goals.
Interestingly, studies on the English language seem to demonstrate that the issue is by no means a new one. As far as the study of oral performance is concerned, examples of such inquiries are scattered throughout the centuries: some sixteenth-century English treatises on punctuation (Hart 1569;
Puttenham 1589) made the first steps towards the definition of a written ‘transcription’ of an oral text; in the 17th century, the study of English intonation and rhythm was refined, with the specific aim of demonstrating the ‘Excellency’ of the English language (Butler 1634); the 18th and 19th centuries saw the flourishing of studies on oral ‘delivery’ all over Europe, because speaking opportunities were rapidly developing in Parliament, at the bar, in the pulpit, in the theatre and in polite conversation, leading to an increase in the demand for appropriately expressing ideas in oral English.
Centuries have passed, but no fixed rule about the proper use of voice, gesture, register, lexical choices, and style in oral performances has been codified. And yet, since the 17th century (Hart 1569) the concept that the listener’s eie and eare (sight and hearing) should be harmoniously involved through the speaker’s melody of voice and gesture has been clearly expounded. The parts of a speech ought to be combined into a suitable and attractive arrangement that follows the unspoken rules on expected patterns of the audience. Without such harmony, the entire effectiveness and efficiency of oral communication may fail.
In light of these considerations, the present special issue intends to focus on the definition, refinement and implementation of studies on English oral communication in relation to three current and one ongoing macro areas of research:
1) diachronic dimension: evolution in definitions, methodologies of analysis, instruction and use of oral communication in technical, scientific, professional and academic contexts (e.g. elocutionists, lawyers, priests, doctors, practitioners, politicians, among others);
2) synchronic dimension: development of methods and education/training theories and methodologies aimed at better understanding and enacting oral communication within specific technical and scientific fields of work and research;
3) applicative dimension: specific examples and case studies underlining the implementation and improvement of good practices of oral communication within developing, critical or emerging professional and academic contexts;
4) future prospects: theoretical and methodological considerations on oral communication in technical, scientific and professional contexts in view of the sudden ongoing and anticipated changes in light of the Covid emergency.
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit a 150-word title and abstract (excluding references and keywords) clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed paper to annalisa.zanola@unibs.it and roxanne.doerr@unibs.it by March 13, 2021. Decisions about acceptance/refusal will be communicated by March 31, 2021.
 
References
Bhatia, V. and Bremner, S. (eds.) (2014). The Routledge Handbook of Language and Professional Communication. New York: Routledge.
Butler, C. (1634). Charles Butler’s English Grammar. Halle: Niemeyer (reprinted 1910).
Doumont, J. (ed.) (2010). English Communication for Scientists. Cambridge, MA: NPG Education. Retrieved at: https://www.nature.com/scitable/ebooks/english-communication-for-scientists-14053993/.
Doumont, J. (2009). Trees, Maps, and Theoremes. Effective communication for rational minds. Brussels: Principiae.
Gooch, J.C. (2015). “Chapter 5: Global Crisis Communication.” In Lambert, C. and Schlobohm M. (eds). Communication in Emerging Media: What’s Trending Now? Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall-Hunt Publishing. 109-133.
Hymes, D. (1971). “Introduction [to Part IIl”. In D. Hymes (ed.), Pidginization and creolization of languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 65-90.
Hart, J. (1569), An Orthographie, Conteyning the Due Order and Reason, How to Write or Paint thimage of Mannes Voice, Most Like to the Life of Nature. Menston: The Scolar Press Limited (reprinted 1969).
Hughes, R. and Szczepek Reed, B. (2017). Teaching and Researching Speaking. New York: Taylor & Francis/ Routledge.
Lane, S.D., Abigail R.A. and Gooch J.C. (2013). Communication in a Civil Society. Boston: Pearson.
Levis, J.M. (2018). Intelligibility, Oral Communication, and the Teaching of Pronunciation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Newton, J.M. and Nation, I.S.P. (2021). Teaching ESL/EFL Listening and Speaking. New York: Routledge.
Puttenham, G. (1589), The Arte of Englishe Poesie. London: E. Arber (reprinted 1895).
Siegel, J. (1985). “Koines and Koinezation”. Language and Society. 14, 3: 357-378.
Szpyra-Kozłowska, J. (2015). Pronunciation in EFL Instruction. A Research-Based Approach. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.