Intercultural Communication

Module titleIntercultural Communication
Module codeSML2246
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Francesco Goglia (Lecturer)

Professor Sonia Cunico (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Contact between users of different languages inevitably also constitutes contact between subjects with different cultural identities, and there are common features of such inter-cultural contact irrespective of the languages involved. Some research findings indicate that language students return from a year abroad less positive towards the ‘target’ culture than when they left home. The module will develop an understanding of what culture and cultural practice refer to, what it means to be a member of ‘a culture’ (not least in the manner of communication), and will promote intercultural competence and skills to avoid cultural stereotyping, negotiate cultural difference and engage with cultural others.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to:

  • Understand the nature of culture/s
  • Develop your ability to respond appropriately to unfamiliar cultural practices
  • Develop a greater sensitivity to cultural and linguistic diversity through engagement with critical concepts such as culture, identity, othering, mis/communication in a range of different contexts and through different media
  • Adopt an interdisciplinary approach and help you to develop a familiarity with different analytical tools and approaches
  • Develop the ability to engage with and research an individual topic. 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate understanding of the key theoretical notions and concepts in Intercultural Communication Theory as well as their relevance in multilingual and multicultural contexts
  • 2. Demonstrate the development of your Intercultural Competence through the analysis of data which illustrate instances of cultural diversity and/or mis/understanding

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Recognise, describe, and evaluate (under guidance from the module tutor/s) a variety of critical responses to case studies, scenarios, and sources
  • 4. Demonstrate the development of ethnographic skills within a structured framework
  • 5. Recognise and understand the role of language/s as a key locus of personal and sociocultural identity as well as of intercultural mis/understanding
  • 6. Demonstrate familiarity and ability to draw on a range of research literature to support an argument
  • 7. Engage with a variety of research approaches, including ethnography of communication, contrastive pragmatics, and discourse analysis

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Develop intercultural awareness and competence based on engagement with a variety of readings and case studies
  • 9. Undertake an independent essay , which involves the analysis of some data using appropriate analytical frameworks

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Diversity and globalisation
  • What is Communication? Models of communication
  • Language/s and identities
  • Context and Culture – The ethnography of communication
  • Linguistic and non-linguistic barriers to communication
  • Intercultural transitions: immigration and acculturation
  • Intercultural Communication and Miscommunication
  • Co-construction and resistance of cultural identity and communities

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching15Lectures and seminars
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1Available for consultation re project
Guided Independent Study135Private study and seminar preparation


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Project proposal written in English500 words1-9Written and/or oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay written in English1002500 words1-9Written and oral


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-9Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Successful referred students will receive the maximum achievable mark of 40 for their essay. Successful deferred students will have their re-assessment treated as a first attempt, thus the full range of marks will be available. 


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Jackson, J. (2014) Introducing Language and Intercultural Communication, London: Routledge. Available online via MyiLibrary
  • Liu, S., Volcic, Z., and Gallois, C. (2014) Introducing Intercultural Communication, London: Sage. Available from the University bookshop
  • Jandt, Fred E. (2015) An Introduction to Intercultural Communication: Identities in a Global Community. SAGE
  • Piller, I. (2011) Intercultural Communication: A Critical Introduction Edinburgh University Press. Available online via MyiLibrary
  • Holliday, A, Hyde, A, and Kullman, J. · (2010) Intercultural Communication: An Advanced Resource Book for Students. Routledge
  • Hua, Zhu (2013) Exploring Intercultural Communication: Language in Action (Routledge Introductions to Applied Linguistics). Routledge

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Intercultural competence, identity, pragmatics, miscommunication

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date

February 2015

Last revision date