INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION
cod. 1009677

Academic year 2022/23
2° year of course - Second semester
Professor
- Michele DALOISO
Academic discipline
Didattica delle lingue moderne (L-LIN/02)
Field
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
Related/supplementary
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in ENGLISH

Learning objectives

By the end of the module students will have developed theoretical knowledge about the key concepts and skills that are necessary to develop good practices of intercultural communication.

KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
- Knowing the interdisciplinary foundations of Intercultural Communication as a research field, as well as the key features of the functionalist and the constructionist approaches.
- Understanding the complex relations among culture, mind and language, as well as the main theoretical stances and the advances of the research on these topics.

APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
- Applying the key notions of intercultural communication to reflect upon one's personal experience and the formation of one's cultural identity.
- Applying the tools of intercultural communication to analyze case studies and identify potential causes of intercultural conflict.

MAKING JUDGEMENTS
- Identifying the differences of the main approaches to the study of intercultural communication.
- Appreciating the pros of these approaches, as well as their potential disadvantages.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS
- Developing strategies for inclusive communication, avoiding bias and cultural stereotypes.
- Developing awareness of the different types of competences involved in interpersonal communication.

LEARNING SKILLS
- Developing the following soft skills: observation and self-observation, assessment and self-assessment, personal awareness, use of emotional resources to better understand others (e.g. empathy, active listening skills, open-mindedness, perspective shift).

Prerequisites

None.

Course unit content

After a brief introduction to Intercultural Communication as an interdisciplinary field of studies, this unit will be divided into three parts. The first part covers the theoretical basis of the study of communication among people with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. This part is devoted to the concept of 'culture', the different approaches to cultural studies and the complex relations among culture, mind and language. The second part of the unit covers the functionalist perspective to intercultural communication. Here, the notions of 'intercultural communicative competence' and the verbal and non-verbal variables that can cause intercultural misunderstandings are discussed. The last part of the unit aims to develop a critical approach to intercultural communication by introducing the constructionist paradigm and some of its key-concepts, such as 'small culture' and 'grammar of culture', as well as discussing the implications in educational contexts.

Full programme

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Bibliography

Both attending and non-attending students are required to study the following materials:

A) The online Learning Units that will be available on the ELLY platform at the beginning of the classes.

B) Holliday, Hyde & Kullman (2021) "Intercultural Communication: An advanced resource book for students", Routledge.

C) One of the following books:
- Canetti E. (2011) “The tongue set free”, Granta Books.
- Deutscher G. (2011) “Through the language glass: Why the world looks different in other languages”, Picador Books.
- Hoffman E. (1990) "Lost in translation: A life in a new language", Penguin Books.
- Lahiri J. (2019) "Interpreter of Maladies", Mariner Books.
- Said E.W. (1979) "Orientalism", Vintage.

Given the wealth of learning resources provided on the ELLY platform, there are no extra readings for non-attending students.

Teaching methods

The whole module is based on lectures and interactive classes which will focus on practical activities aimed at promoting intercultural reflection, discussion and critical thinking. Students can attend the classes live or watch them recorded. The recording will be available online for 15 days from the day of the recording.
Some classes will be based on a teaching methodology calles "flipped learning model": before the class students will be required to read some material provided beforehand, while the entire class will be devoted to critical discussions and practical application of theoretical knoewledge.

Assessment methods and criteria

ASSESSMENT METHODS
Attending students will be required to:
- carry out three activities from Holliday et al.’s resource book (section C: EXPLORATION) and report the results in the form of an oral presentation to be delivered in class. The oral presentation must be accompanied by a handout (1-2 pages) which summarizes in key-point the results of the activities with clear reference to the theory (online learning units + Holliday et al.'s resource book).
- hand in a short essay (1.000 words circa) containing a critical analysis of the selected book (see point C of the readings section of this syllabus), to be submitted at least 7 days before the exam session. The essay must contain evidence of the personal interiorization of the learning material with clear reference to the theory (online learning units + Holliday et al.'s resource book).

Non-attending students will be required to:
- carry out three activities from Holliday et al.’s resource book (section C: EXPLORATION) and report the results in the form of an oral presentation to be delivered during the exam session, with clear reference to the theory (online learning units + Holliday et al.'s resource book). The oral presentation must be accompanied by a handout (1-2 pages) which summarizes in key-point the results of the activities.
- hand in a short essay (1.000 words circa) containing a critical analysis of the selected book (see point C of the readings section of this syllabus), to be submitted at least 7 days before the exam session. The essay must contain evidence of the personal interiorization of the learning material with clear reference to the theory (online learning units + Holliday et al.'s resource book).

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
For attending students the final mark is the result of the scores obtained as follows: class participation and interaction (10%), oral presentation (50%), essay (40%).
For non-attending students the final mark is the result of the scores obtained as follows: oral presentation (60%), essay (40%).

A fail is determined by a substantial lack of an understanding of the minimum content of the course, the inability to express oneself adequately (orally and/or in writing), by a lack of autonomous preparation, the inability to solve problems related to information retrieval and the decoding of complex texts, as well as an inability to make independent judgments. Moreover, a fail is due to a substantial lack of competence in applying the knowledge acquired.
A pass (18-23/30 is determined by the student’s understanding of the minimum, fundamental contents of the course, an adequate level of autonomous preparation and ability to solve problems related to information retrieval and the decoding of complex texts, as well as an acceptable level of ability in making independent judgments. Moreover, a pass is due to only partial competence in applying the knowledge
acquired.
Middle-range scores (24-27/30) are assigned to the student who produces evidence of a more than sufficient level (24-25/30) or good level (2627/30) in the evaluation indicators listed above. Moreover, middle range scores are due to acceptable to good levels of competence in applying the knowledge acquired.
Higher scores (from 28/30 to 30/30 cum laude) are awarded on the basis of the student’s demonstration of a very good or excellent level in the evaluation indicators listed above. Moreover, higher scores are due to very good to excellent levels of competence in applying the knowledge acquired.

Other information

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