ALC8003 : Research Portfolio

Semester 3 Credit Value: 60
ECTS Credits: 30.0


The aim of the module is consistent with the overall aim of the CCC+ programme:

1. To develop advanced level of cross-cultural communicative competence for professional work including written and spoken presentation.

2. To apply the knowledge and skills students have acquired from the taught modules to independent research and demonstrate their professional knowledge and skills.

3. To provide opportunity for students to critically evaluate information they obtain in the literature, as well as to reflect on their own knowledge and skills.

Throughout the programme students are required to develop three “research files” (two written files and one oral presentation), which will be submitted and assessed at four different times (January, March, June & August). Supervision is provided through group and individual tutorials. The feedback for each research file, which will be given shortly after completion of marking, will help students to understand their own development needs, for incorporation into subsequent academic work.

Outline Of Syllabus

The research portfolio consists of three ‘research files’ (two written files and one oral presentation)

Part 1
Research File 1 is a written assignment, with a minimum length of 2,500 words. In the assignment you will address and critically discuss a theoretical issue in cross-cultural communication (CCC). Select one of the topics below relating to theoretical matters in cross-cultural communication and formulate a question of your own to answer:
      (a) Why CCC is an important area to study
      (b) The application of CCC in research
      (c) The evolution of CCC and its various approaches as areas of study
      (d) Ways in which culture and/or interculturality are conceptualised in the research literature
      (e) Problems that may arise when equating nationality with culture
      (f) Implications of postmodernism for CCC research

Part 2
This takes the form of an oral presentation. Research File 2 focuses on matters relating to research methodology in CCC.
Your assignment will be based on one of the questions/tasks below relating to methodological matters in CCC research (in all cases you will be expected to draw upon primary CCC research literature):
      (a) Critically outline and evaluate a methodological approach in CCC research literature
      (b) Compare and contrast two different methodologies in CCC research literature
      (c) Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of questionnaire methods in CCC research
      (d) Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of discourse analytic approaches to CCC research
      (e) Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of ethnographic approaches to CCC research

Part 3
Research File 3 is the final part of your portfolio. It has 2 parts:
•       The first part is a brief outline of your intended research, i.e. your Research Proposal (precise details of which will be provided in semester 2). Feedback for this written proposal will be provided by your supervisor and we aim to return this to you within two weeks of submission.
•       The second part is your completed project, a written assignment, of around 5,500 words, not counting your appendices. In this project, you will undertake an empirical study examining a question or topic of your choice, relating to matters in CCC.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture222:0044:00Tutorials
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading121:0012:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1544:00544:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1.       The research portfolio aims to enhance students’ cross-cultural communicative competence and various skills required in cross-cultural communication and professional work by focusing on the similarities and differences in communicative norms and values across cultural groups. All written files and oral presentation require skills in synthesising and evaluating research information, as well as organisational skills in presenting the information clearly and coherently. The 3rd research file will require students to use empirical data and demonstrate the ability of planning, managing and analysing and presenting their own research.
2.       The 'Methods in CCC Research' lectures and seminars are effective and efficient ways to familiarise students with theories, models and approaches used in research on language and communication, to promote good practice and to encourage students to learn from each other and provide support for each other. While students are encouraged to carry out independent and private study to develop their ability of problem-solving, ability to take initiative, adaptability, planning and organising, and interpersonal communication, individual supervision will cater for individual students’ developmental needs and provide guidance in each case.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper1M20Research file 1 (written) 2500 words
Research paper2M30Research file 2 (oral presentation) 15 minutes
Research paper3M5Research file 3 (proposal) 1500 words.
Research paper3M45Research file 3 (written) 5500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment fits well with the overall aim of the programme, which is to develop students’ cross-cultural communicative competence for professional work both in knowledge and skills. In particular, the written files provide opportunities to research on the target cultural groups in terms of communicative practices by applying and critically evaluating the existing theories and findings. The oral presentation, apart from skills required for the written files, provides opportunities to present a piece of professional work orally, with powerpoint, handout and other facilities.
Empirical study is required for the 3rd research file to provide opportunities to carry out an original empirical study and to present research findings professionally.

Reading Lists