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2014/2015  BA-BIMKO1010U  Communicating across Cultures

English Title
Communicating across Cultures

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BA in Intercultural Marketing Communication
Course coordinator
  • Lill Ingstad - MSC
Main academic disciplines
  • Communication
  • Language and Intercultural Studies
Last updated on 15-08-2014
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
  • Make references to sources used in written assignments correctly and consistently in accordance with a generally accepted referencing system.
Communicating across Cultures:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 48 hours to prepare
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period December/January
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

The overall objectives of the course are to

  • provide students with a theoretical foundation and a metalanguage enabling them to discuss and analyse culture and the way culture impacts on language and communication strategies
  • enable students to build 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

We study specific cultural dimensions and differences on the basis of broader theoretical conceptualisations of culture. A more specific 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
  • Managing language and intercultural conflict
Teaching methods
The course consists of a combination of lectures, presentations, discussions, assignments and exercises.
Student workload
Lectures and class sessions 24 hours
Preparation 73 hours
Independent out-of-class study 50 hours
Home Assignments 30 hours
Examination including preparation 30 hours
Expected literature

Indicative course literature:

Browaeys, Marie-Joëlle & Roger Price: Understanding Cross-Cultural Management, 2nd ed. (2011). FT Prentice Hall/Pearson

Compendium Communicating across Cultures

Last updated on 15-08-2014