Inter-culturally Speaking (Online)
We often interact with people from different cultural backgrounds, and we need to do it in ways that work. This course provides you with an opportunity to explore your own cultural identities from different viewpoints and to develop a clearer perception of others and of how they may see you. It will make you a more aware and efficient intercultural communicator and a more capable and valuable participant in diverse groups.
My culture, myself?
Are we just who we think we are, or are we also who others think we are? Are we born prejudiced? Can we talk of ‘national characteristics’? How can we best reach those from other cultures in a pluralistic society, in a globalized world? How can we best live together on this planet?
If you have asked yourself these or similar questions, this course will interest you. It will not provide all answers, or even most answers, but it will lead you to consider and critically evaluate your own cultural identities, to take the need for group cohesion into account, to consider different personality types and cultural characteristics, to recognize the implications of cultural diversity, and to better communicate and work creatively with others from different cultures (most people you meet!).
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.
1. My culture myself? What is culture anyway?
- Notions of culture: How we perceive ourselves as members of different cultures
- Definitions from American anthropology
- ‘Software of the mind’
- Problem solving
- Difficulties in defining culture
- National cultures, subcultures and small cultures
- My culture, myself?
2. Four-letter descriptions of personality: Typological approaches to personality
- Historical background
- Carl G. Jung’s psychological types
- Extraversion and introversion
- The uniqueness of individuals
- The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
- The components of the indicator
- Uses and potential abuses of the MBTI
3. The limits of my language, the limits of my world?: Language thought and social identity
- Language and cultural identity
- The politics of language
- The politics of language as reflected in language policies
- From linguistic determinism to linguistic relativism to universalism
- Contemporary views
- Language and social identity
- Linguistic accommodation
4. What you think I mean is not what I think I said: Gender and social class as realised in social interaction
- Language and social class
- The importance of pronunciation in English
- Sex and gender
- Gender roles
- How are gender roles realised in everyday language? Sexist language
- Do men and women speak differently? Lakoff and Fishman, the pioneer researchers
- Do men and women speak differently? The populariser, Deborah Tannen
5. I’m late, I’m late. For a very important date: The relative importance of time, space, context and nonverbal communication in different cultures
- Personal notions of time
- Monochronic and polychronic cultures
- Edward Hall
- High and low context cultures
- Nonverbal communication
- The impact of Hall’s work
6. Mexicans dance on their hats: Geert Hofstede’s ‘dimensions’ of national cultures
- Dimensions of national cultures
- Power distance
- Uncertainty avoidance
- Further developments
- Difficulties encountered
7. Born prejudiced?: Cultural cohesion, prejudice and stereotypes of ‘the other’
- Cultural conditioning
- Our need to belong
- Social cohesion
- Difficulties in perceiving the other
- Back to free word association
8. Meeting the other: From culture shock, to misunderstandings, to acculturation
- Inter-cultural encounters
- Stages of adaptation to a new culture
- Pluri-cultural identities
- The narcissism of small differences
- Mediated inter-cultural encounters
9. Mind your manners: Business cultures and doing business in a globalised world
- Corporate cultures
- Cultural attitudes and assumptions in hiring
- Corporate culture and change
- Inter-cultural business training
- Notable inter-cultural trainers and materials
- The importance of foreign language learning
- Global cross-pollination and its cultures
10. Do as the Romans do – or try to understand their behaviour from their point of view: Inter-cultural competencies, developing a third perspective, what makes an inter-cultural mediator
- A brief history of inter-cultural communication as a field of study
- Inter-cultural communicative competence
- Becoming inter-culturally competent
- Multiple intelligences
- Building relationships with people from other cultures within our national culture
- Seeking points of similarity
- Educating the inter-cultural communicators of tomorrow
We strongly recommend that you try to find a little time each week to engage in the online conversations (at times that are convenient to you) as the forums are an integral, and very rewarding, part of the course and the online learning experience.
To participate in the course you will need to have regular access to the Internet. There are no required textbooks.
To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online. If you do not register when you enrol, you have up until the course start date to register and pay the £10 fee.
For more information on CATS point please click on the link below: http://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/studentsupport/faq/cats.php
Coursework is an integral part of all online courses and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework, but only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.
Assignments are not graded but are marked either pass or fail.
All students who successfully complete this course, whether registered for credit or not, are eligible for a Certificate of Completion. Completion consists of submitting both course assignments and actively participating in the course forums. Certificates will be available, online, for those who qualify after the course finishes.
This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.
Home/EU fee: £280.00
Non-EU fee: £300.00
Take this course for CATS points: £10.00
Inspiring, experienced teacher, Marisol has (co) authored many courses for English and Spanish as foreign languages. Prizes - Duke of Edinburgh Award, Commendation - Foreign Language Awards
Expertise in inter-culturalism arises from psychology background, foreign language teaching experience, and needs of BA students’ study abroad periods. Co- designed Intercultural Learning Module (King’s College).
The course will enable students to:
- Think critically and engage in informed discussion of theoretical principles and key psychological and cultural concepts.
- Appreciate individual psychological differences.
- Understand the importance of coexisting cultural differences in the early 21st century.
- Appreciate and critically evaluate their own cultures.
- Recognize the nature and implications of cultural diversity.
- Apply strategies which will enable them to be effective intercultural communicators.
- Research a topic, extracting and synthesising key information and drawing informed conclusions from analysis of theoretical concepts and their own observations.
- Work creatively and flexibly with others from similar and different cultures.
- Work with a degree of autonomy, self-discipline and time management.
Although this course requires understanding of theoretical concepts, it is also an experiential course which requires students to reflect on their own cultural identities, beliefs and perceptions, and at times to share these reflections with their fellow students.
By the end of this course students will be expected to understand:
- Salient theoretical notions of culture and identity.
- The process of acculturation.
- Fundamental psychological concepts, e.g. conscious and unconscious, Jungian typology.
- The role of language in the shaping of thought and social identity.
- Models of culture classification.
- The principles of intercultural competence.
By the end of this course students will be expected to have gained the following skills:
- Thinking reflectively about of their own cultures, behaviours and beliefs.
- Evaluating practices and products from multiple cultural perspectives.
- Ability to critique theoretical positions.
- Ability to think inter-culturally.
- Applying strategies which will enable them to be effective intercultural communicators.
- Working productively with others from similar and different cultural backgrounds.
Assessment for this course is based on two written assignments - one short assignment of 500 words due half way through the course and one longer assignment of 1500 words due at the end of the course.
Assignments are not graded but are marked either pass or fail.
Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.
Level and demands
FHEQ level 4, 10 weeks, approx 10 hours per week, therefore a total of about 100 study hours.
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions for applicants and students on this course
Sources of funding
Information on financial support