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ALC8007 : Professional Communication in Intercultural Settings

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Alina Schartner
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


To provide an introduction to professional communication in intercultural settings informed by theoretical literature and recent empirical research

To provide an introduction to a skills-based approach to interpersonal communication

To develop in students a critical understanding of the role of interpersonal and intergroup communication across a range of intercultural contexts in the workplace and in everyday life

To provide the opportunity to practice a range of communication skills (e.g., oral and written presentation, e-mail etiquette, team building, persuasion, non-verbal behaviours)

To develop the skills and theoretical knowledge needed to have a systematic understanding of, and critical awareness of, current thought on best practice in professional communication skills in intercultural settings

Outline Of Syllabus

Weeks 1-5 provide broader context on key issues related to intercultural professional communication. Weeks 6-10 focus on specific workplace and everyday life settings. Week 11 is a module round-up and assignment Q&A session.

Week 1: Key issues in intercultural professional communication
This introductory lecture outlines what we mean by professional communication in intercultural settings, and introduces students to a skills-based approach to interpersonal communication.

Week 2: Physiology of intercultural professional communication
Explores the role of physiology in communication, and associations between communication and the body. Discusses both physiological outcomes of communication (e.g., stress responses) and the impact of physiology on communicative processes. Topics covered include affectionate communication, communication apprehension, forgiveness, and social support.

Week 3: Intercultural professional communication and wellbeing
Explores the notion of ‘positive interpersonal communication’ i.e., the role of communication in the happiness and wellbeing of organisations, groups and individuals. Topics covered include communication savouring as positive interpersonal communication, and happiness and communication from a cultural perspective.

Week 4: Intercultural professional communication and age
Explores the role of communication in the aging process (e.g., infant communication, discourse in healthy aging) and in intergenerational settings (e.g., parent-child, grandparent-grandchild communication).

Week 5: Intercultural professional communication and gender
Explores the relationship between communication and gender, and the role of gender in interpersonal and intercultural communication. Topics include media representations of gender, the politics of gender, gender and non-verbal communication.

Week 6: Intercultural professional communication in healthcare settings
Explores the role of interpersonal and intergroup communication in healthcare settings with a focus on intercultural issues. Topics covered include: the role of communication in medical consultations, communication within healthcare teams, communication and health disparities, and everyday interpersonal interaction and health.

Week 7: Intercultural professional communication in education settings
Explores the role of interpersonal and intergroup communication in contemporary education contexts, including primary, secondary and higher education. Topics covered include professional communication in internationalised universities, culturally sensitive teaching, and interculturality in educational experiences.

Week 8: Intercultural professional communication in mobility and migration contexts
Explores the role of interpersonal and intergroup communication in mobility and migration contexts. Topics covered include intercultural crisis communication, language mediation, communication skills for displaced people. Groups of interest include refugees, global diasporas and international students.

Week 9: Interpersonal and intercultural communication in family settings
Looks at relational communication in various family forms (e.g., adoptive families, stepfamilies, culturally diverse families, transnational families) and examines communication processes occurring in families such as conflict management, disclosing, avoiding and persuasion.

Week 10: Intercultural professional communication in virtual (online) settings
This session explores the role of communication in online contexts focussing on intercultural issues related to information and communication technologies, e-learning, e-mail etiquette, and use of mobile phones and social media.

Week 11: Module round-up and assignment Q&A

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Lectures introduce key theory and examples from empirical research
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading130:0030:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion101:0010:00Guided out-of-class tasks will support the workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops101:0010:00Interactive workshops support students in practicing a range of communication skills
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity130:0030:00Students prepare in small teams for a presentation to be delivered as part of the workshops
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study148:0048:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide an introduction to the weekly content (key theory and examples from empirical research), establish a basic level of understanding of the topic, provide opportunities for discussion and personal reflections, and signal areas for individual further study and essential and further reading.

Weekly interactive workshops offer opportunities to practice and develop a range of communication skills.

Structured guided tasks (individual and/or group) will support students' learning outside of class and are aligned with the workshops.

A student-led group activity will enable students to research a topic and prepare a presentation to be delivered as part of the workshops.

Independent study will enable wider reading, further personal self-reflection and assignment preparation.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A100Essay (3,500 words)
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation2MStudents will carry out a short presentation in small teams which will be supported by the seminars.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The intended knowledge outcomes will be assessed through an end-of-module essay in which students will produce a critical evaluation of an aspect of professional communication in intercultural settings. Students will draw on examples from the workplace and everyday life, and on relevant theoretical empirical literature. A selection of essay questions will be provided.

The formative assessment constitutes an oral 'Pecha Kucha' style presentation which students will carry out in small teams as part of the weekly seminars. This assignment will primarily assess the intended skills outcomes of the module, and will offer students an opportunity to practice a range of professional skills (e.g., presentation skills, non-verbal skills) in a supportive environment. Peer-feedback will be provided as part of this process. Students will be offered a selection of presentation topics.

Reading Lists