Intercultural Communication

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Intercultural Communication

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Intercultural Communications

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Assumed Background:
    No previous background is assumed, although completion of 1003LAL is recommended.

  • 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

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Course Description
    This course presents a general overview of the key issues and theories in the area of intercultural communication. Using a wide variety of authentic materials, tasks and media, this course adopts a thematic approach to explore how people communicate both within and across various cultural settings.

    Course Introduction
    The development of intercultural competency is a process that impacts on the whole individual, and therefore this course looks at cognitive, social and affective factors that impact on intercultural communication and at the skills needed to perform successfully in an increasingly internationalised environment. A central issue for theorising the area of intercultural communication (IC) relates to how humans organise into social groups that serve as the basis for categorising both self and others. Thus, this course will introduce theories of intergroup relations, such as Social Identity Theory (Tajfel 1978) that offer a means of explicating some of the key issues concerning intergroup and intragroup communication, not only in relation to national cultures but also within and between co-cultures.

    The work of Social Identity theorists, such as Tajfel, does not focus on language. However, language and communication processes are crucial in this discussion. Language tends to be a crucial marker of group identity, ingroup solidarity and outgroup differentiation. We therefore look at authentic language and communication situations rather than talk about communication patterns in the absence of linguistic data.

    This course is sequenced to move from the macro to the micro settings of IC. There are two main blocks of lectures:

    Block One: IC in the international context: comparing cultural values based on the exploration of theories of IC (Hofstede, Hall, Triandis, Tajfel, Allport and others) in the national and international contexts.

    Block Two: IC at the interpersonal level: dimensions of culture, language and communication (verbal and non-verbal) that influence everyday interactions within and across cultures and co-cultures.

    Course Aims
    The main aim of the course is to introduce students to factors that shape the ways in which we communicate intraculturally and interculturally. In the Australian context, students are increasingly faced with both social and professional imperatives to develop intercultural competence. On the one hand, technological developments and internationalisation of the economy require the ability to operate confidently in a global environment. On the other hand, migration and multiculturalism necessitate the development of cultural proficiency to interact effectively in pluralistic communities. Therefore, the ability to operate between cultures is a highly valued and marketable skill.

    A secondary aim of the course is to provide situations in which students? understanding of the languages they are learning in their linguistics degree can be supplemented with a deeper insight into the variables that influence cultures, and how these manifest themselves in the target culture/s. Just as importantly, the aim is to provide situations in which students can use their knowledge of language conventions to substantiate key issues or concepts in the IC classroom.

    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1.understand the main theoretical issues in the field of intercultural communication

    2.use conceptual and linguistic instruments to discuss and analyse the central issues in the area

    3.apply these issues to the languages they are studying

    4.develop a reflexive attitude towards their own, and others', cultural backgrounds

    5.implement important research skills such as database searching, critical analysis of the literature in the field and group work skills.

    Assessment Summary
    Presentation-Media Representation-Weighted 10%/10
    Assignment-Essay proposal-Weighted 10%/10
    Assignment-Issues in Intercultural Communication-Weighted 40%/40
    Exam-Weighted 40%/40

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.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.