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ALC8008 : Language & Intercultural Pragmatics (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Peter Sercombe
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


Aims of the module include enabling understanding of pragmatics, when interactants are from more than one language background. This is linked to ‘relevance theory’ and the nature of explicit and implicit meaning in pragmatic (mis)understanding. ‘Intercultural’ pragmatics necessarily connects with other disciplines (anthropology, linguistics, and psychology) and seeks to comprehend ostensive-inferential aspects of communication and how these are affected by the (language and culture) backgrounds of those partaking in interaction.

Outline Of Syllabus

Week 1: Module content overview: aims; structure; assessment
Student expectations; semantics/pragmatics interface; emergence of ‘Intercultural Pragmatics’ (ICP).

Week 2: Sociocognitivism and intercultural Pragmatics (ICP)
Social (collective) and cognitive (individual) basis of pragmatics, for interactants - speakers and hearers. Personal agency, proxy agency, and collective agency.

Week 3 Grice and relevance theory; Speech acts across languages and cultures
Relevance theory, a framework for study of cognition and communication: understanding utterances as a matter of inferring speakers’ communicative and informative intentions.

Week 4 Context and its importance in understanding interactions
Elements of context: influences on discourse meaning; influences by discourse.

Week 5: Politeness and power; Module assessment preparation 1
Whose politeness? Politeness, face and affect.

Week 6: Indexicals
Indexicality of expressions in speech acts, and their functions.

Week 7: Explicatures, implicatures and presuppositions
Explicature and/versus implicature and meaning. Presupposition as presumed content

Week 8: Common ground; metapragmatics and interpersonal evaluation
Prior and actual situational context, meaning construction and common ground.

Week 9: Conversational routines, culture and formulaic language use
Features of pragmatic routines, in context. Recurrent strings, formulas, and their social and pragmatic functions.

Week 10: Doing Intercultural Pragmatics research - approaches and methods

Week 11: Module summary and module assessment preparation 2

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading130:0030:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities111:0011:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study187:0087:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide an introduction to the weekly content, 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. Group activities are often linked to pre-class weekly reading

Structured Guided Learning activities provide students with weekly opportunities to consolidate learning through guided tasks linked to the weekly topic.

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
Reflective log1M50Reflective Diary 1: Series of tasks related to topics in weeks 1-5 (1,500 words total)
Reflective log1M50Reflective Diary 2: Series of tasks related to topics of weeks 6-10 (2,000 words total).
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Will give students an opportunity to reflect on the wide range of topics/issues that have been covered in the module, and make connections to their own personal experiences.

Reading Lists