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COMM 2900

This is an archive of the Common Course Outlines prior to fall 2011. The current Common Course Outlines can be found at
Credit Hours 3
Course Title Intercultural Communication
Prerequisite(s) COMM 1201
Corequisite(s) None Specified
Catalog Description
Intercultural Communication is an advanced course focusing on the patterns, dynamics, and worldviews that influence the processes involved in communication within and across different cultural groups.   Topics covered will address intercultural communication competence from a national and international perspective, and will include the role of identity, verbal and nonverbal patterns of communication, as well as an exploration of the skills that can aid in overcoming perceived obstacles to intercultural communication.

Expected Educational Results
As a result of completing this course, the student will be able to:
A. Demonstrate intercultural competence through:
• Increased awareness of their own identity.
• Increased awareness of the identities of others.
• Understanding how culture influences communication.
• Appreciate the differences between various cultural contexts.
• Ability to recognize and adapt to a variety of communication styles.

B. Develop critical thinking skills through:
• Research, analysis, and selection of supporting materials.
• Organize, participate in and influence a self directed team project.
• Active listening through the application of theory and processing of verbal/nonverbal communication cues.
• An understanding  of the difference in dynamics between different cultural contexts.
• Recognizing the need to adjust conflict management modes of communication.
• Develop intercultural competence skills that can be applied to national and international settings.

General Education Outcomes
I. Learners develop speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in the following ways:
A. They develop their speaking skills through a variety of speaking activities, which include presentations and group discussions.
B. They develop their listening skills through lecture, participation in small group and class discussion.
C. They develop their reading comprehension skills by reading the text, by reading scholarly material, and by conducting research.
D. They develop writing skills through research and critical analysis of the issues for their papers and presentations.

II. Learners demonstrate effective problem-solving and critical thinking skills through the analysis and organization of materials for presentations and through small-group projects.

III. Learners develop an awareness of and sensitivity to intercultural communication through the use of examples and case studies in lecture and discussion.

IV. Learners analyze competing values underlying contemporary issues through an understanding of the dynamics of intercultural communication in national and international settings.

Course Content
A.    Introduction to the dynamics involved in intercultural communication.
• What is intercultural communication? By examining the definition of intercultural communication we will explore how to recognize the similarities and celebrate the differences in communication contexts.  Additionally, an exploration of etic vs. emic and quantitative vs. qualitative approaches to intercultural communication research are explored and G. Hofstede’s dimensions of cultural variability.
• Identity:  How do we perceive ourselves?  What is our culture?  What are the perceptions of others about us? How do we connect to and communicate with individuals of other cultures who may perceive themselves in a similar way and in different ways?  In order to recognize the sovereignty of other cultures, first we need to identify and recognize our own culture. Course content covers bi-racial and bi-cultural identity and the process of cultural identity development.  
• The role of language:  How does language contribute to the creation of our perceptions of other cultures?  If those perceptions were reframed how would we manage the communication dynamics.  Course content includes perspectives on the relationship between language and perception including the Sapir Whorf Hypothesis (soft & hard versions) as well as Linguistic Relativity.  
• Nonverbal communication:  Communication starts with the intrapersonal and is then transmitted through our nonverbal responses to specific contexts.  Understanding the differences and similarities, gains us an increased appreciation of the universality and uniqueness of this form of communication.  Categories of nonverbal communication decoding are covered (e.g., proxemics, kinesics, olfactics, oculesics, chronemics, etc.) with an emphasis on culture-specific meanings and context-specific nonverbal decoding competence.
• Culture and conflict resolution:  Culture influences how we approach conflict, and by definition conflict resolution, or the management of conflict.  The course will explore, assess and compare how different cultures approach and manage conflict with a view to gaining a better understanding of how they can be resolved.  Course content includes S. Ting-Toomey’s Face Negotiation Theory and other models of intercultural conflict resolution.  
• Cultural competence:  Becoming aware of the contexts, assessing and analyzing the options, and choosing the appropriate response.  Course content emphasizes the knowledge-based, motivational and behavioral prerequisites for competent (i.e., appropriate and effective) intercultural interaction.
B.    Critical thinking, listening, and analysis of intercultural communication settings
• Application of theory through examination of case studies
• Discovery of application of theoretical principles through research for individual and group projects.
• Experiential learning of intercultural communication settings through role plays (e.g., Contact Hypothesis role play).
• Self Reflective journaling which interfaces the course content with the fabric of students’ day-to-day lives
C.    Research and delivery of various presentations and speeches
• Individual analysis and presentation of chapters in course text(s).
• Research and reflection paper on own Identity.
• Research and application of theory for symposia/group project and presentation

Assessment of Outcome Objectives
A. Course Grade
• Individual papers and presentations, group project and presentations, examinations and other assignments assigned by the instructor will be used to determine the course grade.
• The individual paper, chapter paper and presentation, and group project and presentation will be used to evaluate research skills, public speaking skills, critical thinking and listening skills, and awareness of issues related to intercultural communication competence.
• Both oral and written components of effective communication skills within intercultural communication settings will be included in the scope of activities and assignments.

B. Departmental Assessment
Course assessment will be conducted every five years. The assessment will be a survey designed to objectively evaluate the students' knowledge of the subject as well as their appreciation for standard elements of the course design.

C.   Use of Assessment Results
The results of the assessment will be reviewed by the Communication Curriculum Committee for the purpose of recommending curriculum changes and instructional strategies.  An analysis of the results along with a plan of action for recommended changes will be developed and shared with all Communications faculty. These reports will be filed with the Chair of the Communication Curriculum Committee.

Last Revised: Oct. 15, 2010
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