Intercultural Communication for Professional Purposes

Universidad Antonio de Nebrija

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Intercultural Communication for Professional Purposes

  • Host University

    Universidad Antonio de Nebrija

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Intercultural Communications, International Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    This course describes different factors involved in communication across cultures by discussing cultural variables that enable people to understand each other across group boundaries. The course applies this knowledge to the languages professional setting, focusing on the role that communication has in the creation and dissemination of culture. Students will learn to recognize cultural variables to communicate effectively.

    This course aims to make students aware of the variety of factors involved in
    communication, especially when between speakers from different cultures. Concepts
    such as communication, culture and interculturality will be thoroughly discussed in
    order to understand the role each element has in the creation and dissemination of
    culture and the associated stereotypes. Furthermore, culture-specific communication
    styles and the variety of factors interfering in intercultural communication acts will be
    analysed. Students should become aware of the difficulties they might encounter in
    interpersonal exchanges abroad. After the course students are expected to have the
    knowledge and skills required so as to overcome intercultural difficulties and to
    communicate effectively with speakers from different cultural backgrounds.

    Learning objectives
    Students who successfully complete this course will be able to acquire:

    General skills:
    - Ability to present clearly, in written and oral form, complex problems and
    projects within the field of study;
    - Capacity for learning and self-motivation;
    - Ability to work in teams, to integrate into multidisciplinary groups and to
    collaborate with professionals from other fields;
    - Ability for interpersonal communication and awareness of one?s own
    aptitude and resources;
    - Ability to adapt to new situations;
    - Ability to recognize and respe
    ct diversity and multiculturalism;
    - Sensitivity to environmental issues and to cultural and linguistic heritage;
    - Ability to document one's own culture and acquire the knowledge and
    skills to communicate with other cultures;
    - Ability to integrate knowledge in
    its theoretical and practical dimensions through critical reflection and to apply it to intercultural conflict mediation
    and multilinguistic spaces;
    - Having the required academic background to continue postgraduate
    studies (Master), both nationally and internationally

    Specific skills:
    - Be able to develop communicative competence in particular languages,
    applying oral and written communication strategies in the personal,
    social and professional spheres;
    - Improve command of a non-native language, with special emphasis on
    the knowledge and use of the grammar, lexicon, and pragmatics of each
    specific language and understanding the complexity of the
    communication act, considering all its components;
    - Being capable of using different types of communication, verbal
    and non-verbal, in the learnt languages in different cultures and in
    professional settings;
    - Ability to transmit ideas, knowledge and opinions as well as to express
    ideas accurately in different languages;
    - Ability to read, understand, infer, analyse, summarise and explain oral
    and written texts related to non-native languages.

    After the course, students will be capable of:
    - Applying their linguistic knowledge in the professional field of languages,
    being able to solve communication problems in different situations,
    using different channels and communication styles;
    - Understanding the socio-cultural rules and culture-specific linguistic features in communicative acts across borders;
    - Effective use of verbal and non-verbal communication skills and
    understanding the role each has when communicating with members of different countries and cultures;
    - Developing tolerance to multiculturality and diversity by becoming aware
    of culture diversity and understanding the main issues involved in
    - Adapting to new cultural situations
    - Applying the different concepts and strategies learnt in their previous
    subjects related to communication to new international and intercultural contexts

    Educational activities will be developed by means of different didactic
    - Theory and Practice
    - Collective and individual tutoring
    - In-class presentations
    - Daily assignments
    - Team work assignments
    - Workshops and additional training
    - Extra-curricular activities

    The course syllabus follows the Communicative Approach
    methods, based on the core principles of procedure conception and constructive acquisition of knowledge. The
    methodology is based on the teaching-learning procedures, focused on the learner,
    which encourages active participation and results in the development of general and
    specific competencies that provide capacities and attitudes for their future
    professional careers.

    Form of Assessment
    The form of assessment is based on the core principles of the educational assessment, i.e., an active and participative teaching-learning process focused on the learner. The instructor uses numerous and differentiated forms of assessment to calculate the final grade received for this course. For the record,these are
    listed below. The content, criteria and specific requirements for each assessment category
    will be explained in greater detail in class.

    The final grade consists of three parts: class participation, daily work and exams
    o33% Active in-class participation
    o33% daily work
    o34% exams

    Grading Scale goes from 0 to 10.
    Numerical Grade Range Letter grade Percentage
    10 A+ 100%
    9.5 - 9.9 A 95 -99%
    9 - 9.4 A- 90-94%
    8.5 - 8.9 B+ 85-89%
    7.5- 8.4 B 75-84%
    7 - 7.4 B- 70-74%
    6.5 - 6.9 C+ 65-69%
    6 - 6.4 C 60-64%
    5 - 5.9 C- 5-59%
    0-4.9 F 0-49%
    The final grade will be the average of active in-class participation, daily work and exams.

    Attendance Policy

    Attendance is compulsory. In order to excuse any absence, students have to deliver a
    doctor's note or other valid justification.
    An absence is equivalent to a session. Two late arrivals of more than 15 minutes will be
    considered an absence.
    Any unjustified absence will negatively affect the students' final grade by lowering
    his/her participation grade.
    The participation grade will be lowered as follows:
    3 unjustified absences - 30%
    4 unjustified absences - 40%
    5 unjustified absences - 50%
    If a student has more than 5 unjustified absences, the PARTICIPATION GRADE will be
    zero (0).
    Any student with 7 or more absences will NOT pass the course. Those students whose
    absences have been properly justified will get No presentado (N.P). Absences do NOT
    excuse the fulfillment of tasks, papers or essays.
    Active Participation
    The methodology used in class demands from the student a daily participation
    regarding the following:
    - Debates about different topics;
    - Questions posed in class;
    - Opinions and comments;
    - Documents and texts.

    Criteria to evaluate participation Grade

    The student very often contributes with important and original comments that
    encourage debate, using critical and analytical arguments clearly based on reading,
    investigation, daily work, and class work. 8.5 -10
    The student frequently participates voluntarily and makes valuable contributions that
    are generally based on reflection and daily work. 7- 8.4
    The student makes eventual comments, practically only when asked, and shows no
    clear interest in the course. The student does not start a debate nor shows a clear
    understanding of the importance of class/homework and readings. 5- 6.9
    The student makes no comments at all, or makes irrelevant or distracting ones during
    class. This is usually a result from frequent absences or lack of preparation for the
    class. 0- 4.9

    Readings: Basic textbook
    Liu, S; Volcic, Z. et al. (2015) Introducing Intercultural Communication. London: SAGE

    Additional Bibliography
    - Bennett, Milton J., (1998)
    Basic Concepts of Intercultural
    Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press, Inc.
    - Brown, P. y Levinson, S. (1987): Politeness: Some universals in language usage, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    - Byram, M. & Fleming, M. (eds.) (1998). Language Learning in Intercultural Perspective
    . Cambridge: CUP.
    - Davis, F. (1995): La comunicación no verbal, Madrid: Alianza Editorial.
    - Fiske, J. (1982):
    Introduction to Communication Studies
    . London: Routledge.
    - FitzGerald, H. (2003).
    How Different Are We? Spoken discourse in intercultural communication. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
    - Grupo CRIT (2003)
    Claves para la comunicación intercultural. Castellón: Universitat Jaume I.
    - Gercik, P. (2001) On Track with the Japanese. First Books Library (
    - Gudykunst, W.B. (2003) Cross-cultural and Intercultural Communication. London: Sage
    - Halliday, A., Hyde, M. & Kullman, J. (2004). Intercultural Communication: An Advanced Resource
    Book. London: Routledge.
    - Hudson, R.A. (1996) SociolinguisticsCambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    - Jandt,Fred (2004) An Introduction to Intercultural Communication: Identities in
    a global community. Sage Publications.
    - Lado, R. (1986): ?How to compare two cultures?, en Culture Bound, Joyce
    Merrill Valdes (ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    - Lázaro, Juan (2011) Gente con clase. Madrid: Editorial Reino de Cordelia.
    - Llobera, M. et al. (1995): Competencia comunicativa, Madrid: Edelsa.
    - Nees, G. (2000) Unraveling an Enigma.
    ME: Intercultural Press, Inc., Yarmouth.
    - Poyatos, F. (1994a): La comunicación no verbal. I. Cultura, lenguaje y conversación,
    Madrid: Istmo.
    - Samovar, L.A. et al (2005) Intercultural Communication: A reader (with info
    Track). New York: Wadsworth Publishing.
    - Scollon, R. & Scollon, S.W (2001) Intercultural Communication: A Discourse Approach. 2nd
    edition. Oxford: Blackwell.
    - Sercu, L., et al (2005).
    Foreign Language Teachers and Intercultural Competence.
    Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
    - Spencer-Oatey, H. (ed.) (2008). Culturally Speaking. Culture, Communication and Politeness Theory.
    2nd edition. London: Continuum
    - Wenzhong, H. & y Cornelius G. (1999)
    Encountering the Chinese: A guide for
    Americans,2ª ed., ME: Intercultural Press, Inc., Yarmouth, 1999.


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