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Introduction to Intercultural Communication - 1st year

Introduction to Intercultural Communication examines the basic elements of interpersonal communication and culture as the two relate to one another. Emphasis is given to the influence of culture on the interpretation of the communication act and to the communication skills that enhance cross-cultural communication.


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

1. Define and identify elements of interpersonal communication, culture, cultural systems, and global communication;

2. Compare and contrast cultures’ values, beliefs, perceptions, and communication styles;

3. Recognize negative perception: racism, prejudice, negative stereotyping, ethnocentrism;

4. Recognize and identify co-cultures;

5. Analyze intercultural interactions and evaluate situations using intercultural communication skills;

6. Understand cultural and global flow of information.


Course topics will include the following:

1. Fundamentals of Interpersonal Communication: The Components and Characteristics of Communication

2. Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication: Forms of Intercultural Communication and Models of Intercultural Communication

3. Culture and Perception: Beliefs, Values, and Attitudes; American Cultural Patterns; Diverse Cultural Patterns; Hofstede’s Value Dimensions, Kluckhon, and Strobeck’s Value Orientation, Hall’s High and Low-context Languages

4. Cultural Perspectives: Diverse World View, Family Religion, and History

5. Language and Culture: Importance and Nature of Language, Language and Meaning, Language and Co-cultures

6. Nonverbal Communication and Culture: Importance and Functions of Nonverbal Communication; Time, Kinesics, Haptic, Proxemics, and Paralanguage

7. Intercultural Issues: Domestic and International Problems, Prejudice, Racism, and Discrimination

8. Intercultural Communication Settings: Business and Education

9. Culture Shock

10. Improving Intercultural Communication: Skills to Learn How-To-Learn, Self-Perception, Intercultural Training Programs, Stress Management

Method of Instruction:

1. Lectures

2. Class Discussions

3. Small Group Activities

4. Class Activities

5. Student Presentations

6. Role Playing

7. Simulations

8. Use of Library for Research Projects

Types of Assignments:

1. Students will read approximately one chapter-length assignment per week

2. Students must be able to take notes from their textbook and supplementary readings and from lectures

3. Short papers. These reports may require research in the library.

4. Students must be able to write well-organized papers, free from major errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Sample Text:

1. Communicating Between Cultures, 2nd ed. (Larry A. Samovar and Richard E. Porter, Wadsworth, 1995)

2. Increasing Multicultural Understanding: A Comprehensive Model (Don Locke, Sage, 1992)

3. Communicating in Multicultural Organizations (Richard L. Wiseman and Robert Shutter, eds., Sage, 1994)

4. Intercultural Communication: A Reader, 7th ed. (Larry A. Samovar and Richard E. Porter, Wadsworth, 1994)