School of English

Language and Culture (949Q3B)

Language and Culture in Intercultural Communication

Module 949Q3B

Module details for 2015/16.

30 credits

FHEQ Level 7 (Masters)

Module Outline

This module examines how cultural assumptions and values influence language and interactional style, and vice versa. In order to do so, we interrogate our own cultures: what do we consider to be polite or rude, natural or unnatural in communication with others? What values and habits shape our expectations of what communication is, what it is for, and what forms it should take? We are then in a position to explore the ways in which communicative behaviours can vary and be (mis)interpreted in intercultural situations. We consider the degree to which claims of universals in human interaction are tenable and the possibility of 'intercultural competence'. Key areas of exploration will include linguistic relativity, individualism/communalism, context (high and low), interactional cues, face and politeness, time and relationships.

Module learning outcomes

describe, apply and critically assess definitions of contested notions, such as 'culture', 'politeness' and 'intercultural competence'

identify and evaluate a range of methodologies for primary research in intercultural communication

understand and synthesise ideas from linguistics, psychology and social sciences in order to test hypotheses concerning intercultural communcation

demonstrate sensitivity to the risks of ethnocentrism and 'othering' in intercultural encounters and in linguistic and social science research

perform an original piece of theory-driven research that analyses some aspect of spoken or written communication cross-culturally or in an intercultural context

Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
Short Term PaperA2 Week 1 100.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Spring SemesterSeminar2 hours111111111111

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Prof M.Lynne Murphy


Ms Liz Walker

Assess convenor

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