ALC3011 : Working in Intercultural Settings

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module has the explicit aim of helping students to prepare for effective and competent interpersonal communication in intercultural workplace settings. Specific module aims include:

To develop an understanding of what ‘culture’ and ‘intercultural’ means
To provide an understanding of what we mean by ‘intercultural workplace’
To generate an understanding of the challenges and rewards involved in working cross-culturally
To provide an introduction to the concepts of ‘intercultural competence’, ‘multicultural personality’ and ‘cross-cultural effectiveness’, and whether these can be taught/learned
To explore the role of language, both verbal and non-verbal, in intercultural workplace communication
To provide an understanding of the theory behind effective interpersonal communication, and how this theory can be applied to everyday communication in intercultural workplace settings
To provide an understanding of how psychological and social psychological factors influence how we communicate with each other
To provide an overview of key research areas and methodological approaches with regards to the intercultural workplace, including research on working and studying abroad and/or in intercultural settings
To develop students’ general cross-cultural understanding and intercultural communicative competence

Outline Of Syllabus

Specific syllabus content is subject to group needs analysis. The following is indicative content:

Unpacking of the term ‘intercultural workplace’ and discussion of what it means to work ‘across cultures’
An introduction and discussion of key concepts with regards to working ‘effectively’ across cultures (e.g. ‘intercultural competence’, ‘multicultural personality’ and ‘cross-cultural effectiveness’)
Misattribution and miscommunication in intercultural workplace settings: causes and possible solutions
Discussion and critical evaluation of real-life scenarios from intercultural workplace settings
Discussion of research articles with regards to working across cultures, including a critical evaluation of methodological approaches to the study of ‘culture’ in workplace settings
Working effectively in intercultural workplace settings - recent research literature and case studies from various workplace settings, including:
‘Working abroad’ – The role of intercultural communication in the experiences of expatriate business personnel
‘Crossing borders to study’ – The role of intercultural communication in the experiences of international students
Managing diversity in education – Communicating effectively on the multicultural, multilingual campus, and in multicultural, multilingual classroom settings
Intercultural communication and healthcare – Communicating effectively in intercultural healthcare contexts, e.g. communication between health care professional and ethnic minority patients,

Teamworking in intercultural contexts and effective participation in intercultural meetings: recent research literature, case studies, skills and practice

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Lectures include a range of reflective, interactive pair and group activities
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion401:0040:00Independent reading and research for student essays
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops111:0011:00Workshops accompany lectures giving students an opportunity to discuss real-life workplace scenarios
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity201:0020:00Students work independently on research project in groups, inc. an associated oral presentation
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1041:00104:00Independent study 104 hours, drop in surgery 3 hours.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are delivered to introduce key knowledge areas. Student-lead projects and workshops provide opportunities to practise intercultural communication skills, and discuss real-life workplace scenarios. Private study provides the opportunity to enable wider reading and critical evaluation of relevant literature, and to participate in presentation preparation.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M30Group research project and presentation to be delivered in class
Essay2M702500 - 3000 words, hand in after the end of the module
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The student group project and essay assessments complement one another:

1. The student group project assesses students’ ability to effectively work in cross-cultural teams, to
research a topic of relevance to the module content, and to prepare and deliver a professional oral
2. The individual essay assesses students’ ability to independently engage with theory and research on
a chosen topic, and to produce a well-written and professionally presented essay.

Reading Lists