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The University of Southampton

UOSM2017 Intercultural Communication in a Global World

Module Overview

In a world of fast and easy communication, we are increasingly working and studying alongside people from different cultures and linguistic backgrounds. This can often require us to act and think in different ways and to challenge our traditional ways of working. Misunderstandings and miscommunication can and do arise but the benefits of such encounters are many. We gain from these experiences, grow as individuals, develop new relationships and enhance employability through the intercultural competence we acquire. These skills give us the ability to maximise research and business opportunities in a global marketplace.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • reflect on how cultural norms differ
  • understand how behaviour and language can be adapted to make them more effective
  • critically evaluate your own intercultural competence
  • understand how to minimise misunderstandings and miscommunication in an multicultural and/or multilingual context
  • work and study effectively and confidently in a range of multilingual and multicultural situations; explain to, and help, others to develop their intercultural skills


This module will look at the way that people in different cultures communicate in the context of globalisation and superdiversity. It will explore how we may adapt our behaviour and language, including our body language, in order to communicate effectively. The module will also reflect on and challenge the knowledge we have of ourselves and our culture/s, including the attitudes we hold and the impact of how we behave, think and speak on other people. It will examine stereotypes and our acceptance of differences and through intercultural dialogues, will look at how we observe and build knowledge of other cultures. The areas covered include:  What is culture and what is communicative competence? What does it mean to be interculturally competent?  Intercultural communication research  Globalisation and culture  Language as a cultural marker (e.g. global Englishes, metrolingualism)  Intercultural communication and the internet  Deconstructing stereotypes  Working and studying in multilingual and multicultural groups  Developing intercultural competence in practice  Transcultural communication

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

There will be weekly lectures on the proposed topics.

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

C Kramsch (1998). Language and culture. 

Feng, A. M. Byram & M. Fleming. Becoming interculturally competent through education and training. 

H Spencer-Oatey and P Franklin (2009). Intercultural interaction: a multidisciplinary approach to intercultural communication.. 

Holliday, A., Hyde, M., and Kullman, J. (2010). Intercultural Communication. 


Assessment Strategy

Include details of the proportion and weighting of coursework as well as the number, type and duration of examination(s). You must specify which element will be taken as the final assessment. The assessment will take the form of a portfolio of activities which may include a reflective learning blog and analysis of an intercultural encounter; contribution to weekly discussion board and seminars and a group activity will culminate in the design and presentation of an intercultural event. The event will showcase the intercultural awareness and competence that has been developed. There will be the option to do a “multimedia” component in which links to external resources such as web pages, audio or video files are embedded for the portfolio.


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 20%
Portfolio  (4000 words) 60%
Presentation 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio  (4000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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