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2012/2013  BA-IMK_CAC  Communicating across Cultures

English Title
Communicating across Cultures

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for BA in Intercultural Marketing Communication
Course coordinator
  • Lill Ingstad - Department of International Business Communication
Main Category of the Course
  • Communication
  • Language and Intercultural Studies
Last updated on 12-07-2012
Learning objectives
On completing this course, students should be able to:
  • use the theory introduced in the course and the relevant metalanguage to account for, analyse and discuss cultural differences in general and in relation to communication and language
  • identify, discuss and analyse cultural dimensions at play in various texts and/or cases/communication scenarios
  • assess the impact of cultural differences on communication strategies and possibly suggest solutions to communication scenarios presented in cases
  • present a written independent, well-structured and coherent analysis and discussion in English without any significant lexical or grammatical errors that may constitute a barrier to communication
Communicating across Cultures:
Type of test Home Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period December/January
Aids Open Book, Written and Electronic Aid is permitted
Duration 48 Hours
Individual written take-home exam – max. 6 standard pages Duration: 48 hours

Re-examination: same as regular examination
Course content

The overall objectives of the course are to

  • provide students with a metalanguage enabling them to discuss and analyse culture and the way culture impacts on language and communication strategies
  • enable students to build an awareness of challenges in intercultural communication and to provide students with practical methods to adapt communication to target audiences from different cultures
  • enable students to communicate more effectively in English in a global context

Our point of departure is the theories introduced in the course Kultur- og kommunikationsteori (1 semester).

A conceptual framework is provided giving the students an understanding of why there are differences in the way we communicate and interact in different cultures. The course should also enable students to manage communication more effectively in practice when using the English language as a lingua franca in international communication contexts and should help students avoid serious miscommunication problems caused by cultural differences.

Summary of course content:

  • Theoretical concepts and practical methods by means of which we may identify and assess cultural differences
  • Interrelationship of culture and language/communication
  • Implications of intercultural value differences for the use of language and communication strategies, eg in respect of face, politeness, expressive vs. neutral communication, formal vs. informal language, titles, address forms, introductions, building relationships
  • The use of English as a lingua franca in business communication
Teaching methods
The course consists of a combination of lectures, presentations, discussions, assignments and exercises.
Student workload
Lectures and class sessions 24 hours
Preparation 83 hours
Independent out-of-class study 50 hours
Home Assignments 30 hours
Examination including preparation 30 hours
Expected literature

Indicative course literature:

Compendium Communicating across Cultures

Last updated on 12-07-2012