An instruction syllabus to seminars with MA students

Marija Liudvika Drazdauskiene

Instruction syllabus for MA students of English Philology at the Wszechnica Polska, a university in Warsaw,to accompany seminars in language and literature studies. School year 2016-2017

This syllabus briefs the students on the basic concepts of language and literature drawn from linguistics and literary studies and suggests exercise practice in familiarising them with the stylistic value of English words and syntax. It targets students of EFL whose knowledge of English is C1 and higher.


Language in General. From Chapter 1 – Signals in the Dark, Language Made Plain by Anthony Burgess, with accompanying tasks.

2. A brief on what is desirable in the use of English words. From Chapter One - How to write clean English, A Short Guide to English Style by Alan Warner.

3. A text for discussion: Learning Words, written by K R Lakshminarayanan, at: 8 November 2015

3. An exercise on the variety of English words, which includes an excerpt from, A romantic view into a half-drowned world, at: 12 November 2015, and two original sketches written by M.L.Drazdauskiene based on two paintings by Georgia O’Keefe.

4. A brief on degrees of formality in English and grammar, written by M.Liudvika Drazdauskiene.

5. Exercises which are to give students experience in recognising how English words in current usage differ stylistically, worked out by M. Liudvika Drazdauskiene.

6. A text for discussion: Chapter 4, Language, Meaning, and Interpretation, Literary Theory. A Very Short Introduction by Jonathan Culler.

7. Exercises in interpretation: a comparative study of two internet articles and a short story on a lost ring:

Lost Wedding Ring Returned 25 Years after Being Found in Minnesota Hospital’s Sewer, at: 7 August 2015

84-Year-Old Woman’s Class Ring Found In Dried-Up Lake 6o Years After She Lost It, at: 3 July 2014

The Lost Ring, a short story, from English Short Stories, s.a., s.a.

The time permitting, MLD’s practice used to be to study a short story and a poem on an analogous topic for interpretation and analysis. A similar practice is suggested under point 1, here above, where, following the introductory text, an excerpt from a modern novel and a poem are included to suggest their interpretation from the point of view of how the phatic use of English is exploited in them. This syllabus has been covered in four classes each 90 minutes long, which made one-third of seminar classes. The purpose of the seminars wholly is to assist the students in their work on their graduation papers.