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Usage and Strategies of Intercultural Communication

Code: 100213 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500245 English Studies OT 3 0
2500245 English Studies OT 4 0
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Eva Codó Olsina

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
english (eng)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


Students must have a C2 level of English of the Common European Framework for Languages to be able to follow the course.



Objectives and Contextualisation

This course intends to be an introduction to the field of study of intercultural communication from a linguistic perspective. For this reason, the interactional, discursive and sociolinguistic aspects of the communicative contact among individuals from diverse geographical, cultural and linguistic origins will be emphasised. The themes of study are framed within the current reality of globalisation and the growing mobility of people, ideas and practices in a transnational context, as well as within the significance of the new technologies (especially the Internet) as tools which facilitate/foster intercultural communication. In this context, the role of multilingualism and international linguae francae is emphasised, in particular that of English, as complex communicative realities which are in constant evolution. The course also focuses on the analysis of the implication of language, culture and discourse in the creation of social inequalities. In this vein, linguistic ideologies and social representations are examined as elements of power and intergroup domination.


    English Studies
  • Describe synchronously the main grammar units, constructions and phenomena of the English language.
  • Develop critical thinking and reasoning and knowing how to communicate effectively both in your mother tongue and in other languages.
  • Generate innovative and competitive proposals in research and professional activities.
  • Respect the diversity and plurality of ideas, people and situations.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Students must develop the necessary learning skills in order to undertake further training with a high degree of autonomy.
  • Using the acquired knowledge in order to solve problems related to any professional activity in the field of the English language, specially to the teaching.
  • Working in an autonomous and responsible way in a professional or research environment in English or other languages, in order to accomplish the previously set objectives.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply the acquired knowledge in order to improve the general knowledge of linguistic and cultural diversity.
  2. Apply the acquired knowledge to the generation of innovative and competitive research on a basic level.
  3. Applying the acquired knowledge about intercultural communication to professional contexts where several languages come into contact.
  4. Applying the acquired knowledge about intercultural communication to the specific teaching of the English language.
  5. Applying the acquired methodologies of work planning to work in an environment in the English language.
  6. Applying the acquired scientific and work planning methodologies to the research in English.
  7. Communicating in the studied language in oral and written form, properly using vocabulary and grammar.
  8. Demonstrate a master of the specific methods of individual academic work that prepare the student for a postgraduate specialised education in the same or a different field of study.
  9. Describing the discursive and conversational complexities in contact situations of social and linguistic groups.
  10. Effectively communicating and applying the argumentative and textual processes to formal and scientific texts.
  11. Generate strategies to facilitate the increase and improvement of mutual respect in multicultural environments.
  12. Identifying and analysing the discursive strategies that help or prevent reaching a comprehension in intercultural contexts.
  13. Mastering the advanced knowledge and scientific methodologies related to linguistics, literature, history and culture that prepare the student for a postgraduate specialised education in the same or a different field of study.
  14. Produce new professional initiatives.
  15. Students must be capable of comprehending advanced academic or professional texts in their own language or the another acquired in the degree.
  16. Students must be capable of precisely arguing ideas and opinions in their own language or another acquired in the degree.


1.What's culture? Historical perspectives and current approaches. Culture and colonialism; culture and nation-state building; culture and discourse; culture and language

2. Identity and representation. Linguistic identities and cultural identities. Representation and othering. Situated and performative identities.

3. Intercultural communication as a discipline: origins, evolution and paradigms. Case study: Intercultural communication in the business world. 

4. English in a global, multlingual and intercultural context: Models, varieties and speakers. Legitimacy and authenticity. World English(es). English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). Unequal Englishes.

5. Intercultural communication in professional contexts. Miscommunication, access and inequality. Corporate language policy. Intercultural training. Professional identities and cultural identities. Language and social justice.


The teaching methodology is based on:

-directed activities:30%

-supervised activitities: 15%

-autonomous activities: 50%

-evaluation activities: 5%


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Correction and discussion of practical exercises 17 0.68 3, 4
Critical analysis and discussion of assigned readings 10 0.4 3, 4, 16, 15
Presentation of theoretical concepts 23 0.92 4
Type: Supervised      
Individual and/or group tutorials 25 1 3, 16, 14
Type: Autonomous      
Completion of weekly exercises 20 0.8 3, 4, 16
Elaboration of individual and group assignments 15 0.6 5, 6
Personal study 15 0.6 5


  • ALL assessment tasks are compulsory. If a task is not submitted, the student will get a 0.
  • Students will obtain a Not assessed/Not submitted course grade unless they have submitted more than 25% of the assessment items.
  • Any item awarded a grade of less than 4 may be re-assessed. The grade for those items awarded 4 or higher will be included in the calculation of the global average grade for the subject.
  • The student's command of English will be taken into account when marking all exercises and for the final mark. If a student's level of English is lower than C2, up to 40% of the final grade can be taken off. 
  • VERY IMPORTANT: PLAGIARISM. In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.
  • Students are required to employ non-sexist language in their written and oral productions. For guidelines on how to do this, they are advised to check the website of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA): https://www.linguisticsociety.org/resource/lsa-guidelines-nonsexist-usage. Appropriate use of language will be part of the assessment criteria.

N.B. In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.


Re-assessment for this subject will be undertaken on an item-by-item basis, for which the following conditions are applicable:

  • The student must previously have obtained a grade equal to or higher than 3.5 to be able to re-assess a specific item.
  • The student must have passed items weighing 60% of the subject's mark. 
  • The maximum grade for re-assessed items is 6/10.
  • If the student fails the re-assessed item or items in question, the subject may still be passed provided that their average overall grade is equal to or higher than 5.


On carrying out each assessment activity, lecturers will inform students (on Moodle) of the procedures to be followed for reviewing all grades awarded, and the date on which such a review will take place.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Theory exam 45% 2 0.08 5, 6, 3, 4, 16
Written assignment 1 (individual) 15% 6 0.24 5, 6, 16, 15
Written assignment 2 (individual) 15% 6 0.24 4, 8, 9, 7, 11, 12
Written assignment 3 (in group) 25% 11 0.44 5, 6, 2, 1, 16, 15, 13, 8, 10, 11, 14


Angouri, Jo (2018) Culture, Discourse and the Workplace. London: Routledge.

Bowe, Heather and Kylie Martin (2007) Communication Across Cultures: Mutual Understanding in a Global World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Codó, Eva (2017) Language Awareness in Multilingual and Multicultural Organizations. In Garrett, Peter and Josep M. Cots (Ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Language Awareness. London: Routledge, pp. 467-481.

Coupland, Nikolas (2010) The Handbook of Language and Globalization. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Holliday, Adrian, Martin Hyde and John Kullman (2004) Intercultural Communication: An Advanced Resource Book. London: Routledge.    

Gumperz, John (1982) Discourse Strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.   

Lonsman, Dorte and Janus Mortensen (2018) Language policy and social change: A critical examination of the implementation of an English-only language policy in a Danish company. Language in Society 47(3): 435-456.

Park, Joseph and Lionel Wee (2015) English as a Lingua Franca: Lessons for Language and Mobility. In Stroud, Christopher and Martin Prinsloo (Eds.) Language, Literacy and Diversity: Moving Words. London: Routledge, pp. 55-71.

Pavlenko, Aneta and Adrian Blackledge (Eds.) (2004) Negotiation of Identities in Multilingual Contexts. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Pennycook, Alastair (1998) English and the Discourses of Colonialism. Routledge: London.

Pennycook, Alastair (2006) Global Englishes and Transcultural Flows. London: Routledge.

Pennycook, Alastair (2014 [1994]) The Cultural Politics of English as an International Language. London: Routledge.

Piller, Ingrid (2011) Intercultural Communication: A Critical Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Piller, Ingrid (2016) Linguistic Diversity and SocialJustice:An Introduction to Applied Sociolinguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ricento, Thomas (2018) Globalization, language policy and the role of English. In Tollefson, James and Miguel Pérez-Milans (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Language Policy and Planning. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 221-235.

Roberts, Celia and Peter Sayers (1987) Keeping the gate: How judgements are made in interethnic interviews. In Knapp, K., W. Enninger and A. Knapp-Potthoff (eds.) Analyzing Intercultural Communication. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter: 25-43.

Roberts, Celia, Becky Moss, Val Wass, Srikant Sarangi and Roger Jones (2005) Misunderstandings: A qualitative study of primary care consultations in multilingual settings, and educational implications. Medical Education 39: 465-475.

Sarangi, Srikant. (1994) Intercultural or not? Beyond celebration of cultural differences in miscommunication analysis. Pragmatics 4(3): 409-427.

Seargeant, Philip and Joan Swann (Eds.) (2012) English in the World: History, Divesity, Change. London: Routledge.                                                    

Zhu, Hua (2011) The Language and Intercultural Communication Reader. London: Routledge.

Zhu, Hua (2014) Exploring Intercultural Communication: Language in Action. London: Routledge.


More specific bibliography for each topic will be provided during the course.