Business Communication

Florida State University-Valencia Study Center

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Business Communication

  • Host University

    Florida State University-Valencia Study Center

  • Location

    Valencia, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Peace and Conflict Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

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

    Course Description:
    This course explores the basic theoretical principles of intercultural business communication with a focus on developing the writing, verbal, and interpersonal skills key for a successful business career in the United States and overseas. All this will be contextualized geographically and cross-culturally so that you are provided with the necessary situational knowledge and practice for successful participation in today?s business world. To this end, you will be expected to experience and document Valencia, Spain and Europe from a personal point of view as you travel throughout the country and/or continent. You will be able to observe differences and similarities between a Valencian, Spanish, and European culture, and your own. We will talk about those differences in class, why they exist, and how they relate to doing business cross-culturally. You will be expected to carry on class discussions, do several writing assignments, and deliver a speech, all of which will contribute to help you function in different cultures in whatever business you work in. Thus, your ACTIVE PARTICIPATION is required. The course will also examine the use of translating and interpreting activities according to the increasing real world demands on the communicative flow between individuals from distinct cultures using different languages.

    The course is designed to a) enhance your ability to relate to a business environment, and b) develop your ability to perform in distinct business areas by developing the following language skills: speaking in general, and public speaking in particular, listening, comprehension, reading, and writing. There may also be some trips to different business environments as well as guest lectures with experts in different fields.

    Other objectives are:
    - To make you familiar with the principles of effective business communication.
    - To make you familiar with communicative situations similar to those found in business and professional environments.

    Required Course Materials:
    Book: Getting into the Intercultural Groove (1rd edition) (2006), Mary Jane Ryals. Kendall-Hunt. ISBN: 0757531849.

    Attending class and class activities (city fieldtrips) IS MANDATORY in this course. Class meets once a week (Wednesday) from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm in the classroom or outside the classroom. Students will not be allowed to have any unexcused absences. Each unexcused absence will reduce the final grade number by one letter grade (e.g. if a student were to receive an A-, his/her final grade would be B+ instead). Excused absences comprise the following: participation in a scheduled event as a member of a university-sponsored athletic/scholastic team (official absence form required); religious holidays; accident or illness (accident report or FSU health/doctor's note required); and death in the immediate family. Excuses for absences must be submitted within two (2) days after the day of return.
    Students are responsible for making up all work missed during absences. Students may not make up graded work for unexcused absences (see Assessment policy below). Students must be sure to come to class and class activities on time! Two considerable ?lates? equal one unexcused absence.

    Except in the case of excused absences or extreme extenuating circumstances the following will be the policy of this class: 1) late assignments will not be accepted, 2) there will be no "make-up's" of quizzes or exams, 3) no quizzes or exams will be given early. The passing grade for this course is C- (70). No curves are applied to grades in this class.
    1. Class performance (33%): Your attendance, interest, enthusiasm and contribution in every class meeting will be observed. You MUST have the material read before class, and people will be called at random to discuss the readings, and your homework.
    2. Writings, presentation and speech (34%):
    a. Three short written assignments (12% {4+4+4}) will be made on a regular basis. Some will be written in class. The instructor will establish the format and due dates.
    b. Each student will be required to make one presentation and one speech (22%).
    The presentation (8%) will be a presentation on a topic from the book. The speech (14%) will be an individual 8-10 minute formal public speech/presentation on a topic selected by the student. Each student/team may use additional materials in the form of visual aids, etc. (e.g. transparencies, Power Point or others). The instructor will establish the format and presentation date(s) and times.
    3. Exams (33%): There will be 2 in-class exams/papers (15% and 18% respectively) consisting of a combination of multiple-choice, true/false, short answer and essay questions. The dates for the exams are listed on the Course Outline.

    Class performance (33%):

    Writings, team presentation and individual speech (34%): Short written assignments (12%), one presentation and a speech (8% + 14%)

    Exams (33%): There will be 2 in-class exams (15% and 18% respectively)

    Grading Scale:
    94-100 A
    90-93 A-
    87-89 B+
    84-86 B
    80-83 B-
    77-79 C+
    74-76 C
    70-73 C-
    67-69 D+
    64-66 D
    60-63 D-
    00-59 F

    Final Grade components and Grading Scale:
    City Fieldtrips: We will make some visits to places of interest and/or different businesses in/or around the city of Valencia to see how they work. You will be expected to travel from Campus and find your way downtown (and pay the cost of public transportation).

    Students with Disabilities:
    Students with disabilities or attention deficit disorder needing academic accommodations should a) register in and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC), and b) bring a letter to the instructor from the SDRC indicating their accommodation needs. They can perform similar appropriate actions as required at FSU Valencia Study Center. This should be done during the first week of classes. This syllabus and other course materials could be made available in an alternative format upon request.

    Academic Honor Code
    Honors Statement:
    The Academic Honor system of Florida State University is based on the premise that each student has the responsibility (1) to uphold the highest standards of academic integrity in the student's own work, (2) to refuse to tolerate violations of academic integrity in the University community, and (3) to foster a high sense of integrity and social responsibility on the part of the University community.
    Students are expected to uphold the Academic Honor Code published in The Florida State University Bulletin and the Student Handbook.

    Final Considerations:
    - Please be aware of the fact that this is a "flexible" syllabus, and it may be necessary to modify it throughout the semester due to pedagogical considerations. Any changes, however, will be minimal.
    - A class session may be recorded or video-taped for purposes of evaluation of either class assignments or the teacher.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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