Intercultural Communication: communicating across languages and cultures

The details
Language and Linguistics
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
21 March 2022


Requisites for this module



Key module for

DIP T1Q909 Chinese-English Translation and Interpreting,
MA Q91112 Translation and Professional Practice,
MLANR990 Modern Languages (Translation)

Module description

This course balances theoretical insight with advanced practical skills. It provides a practical and advanced introduction to the field of intercultural communication, including a toolbox of key theories and concepts, fields of analysis and methods. The course applies these to real-world communication events.
Students will gain insight into the subfields of intercultural communication such as intercultural pragmatics and linguistics and engage with key studies from these areas.

Students will first be introduced to existing approaches to Intercultural Communication and general issues in the field, with a view to defining this vital area of communication research. An investigation of communicative patterns in different cultures and languages will follow. In this context we will examine illocutionary force, indirect speech acts and politeness.
We will then discuss analyses of the socio/situational constraints in intercultural contexts and how they are central to the examination of the complexities of intercultural discourse, such as for instance, translation. The question here is how cultural norms, values and conventions influence linguistic choices across languages and cultures.

Module aims

The aim of this module is to promote understanding of what is called intercultural competence by focusing on theoretical and applied pragmatics research in a bilingual/multilingual context. It provides theoretical and applied insights into the relationship between the linguistic and social/situational dimensions of intercultural communication. Familiarity with the main tools of intercultural analysis will enable students to critically examine concrete case studies in intercultural communication.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:

1. be familiar with existing approaches and issues in intercultural communication
2. demonstrate an understanding of the field of intercultural pragmatics
3. be familiar with the main analytical and conceptual tools for intercultural analysis
4. be able to apply analytical tools and conceptual frameworks to the analysis of intercultural encounters
5. be able to critically examine empirical studies of intercultural communication
6. be able to critically select the relevant analytical tools for the study of concrete case studies of written and spoken texts

Module information


Learning and teaching methods

2 hour lecturer/seminar per week for the duration of 10 weeks Seminars will involve group work (discussions of issues associated with module readings; follow-up tasks) as well as class presentations.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Essay (3000 Words)     

Additional coursework information


Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Beatriz De Paiva, email: bdepaiva@essex.ac.uk.
Beatriz de Paiva
4.211, bdepaiva@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Vivienne Esther Rogers
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Language and Linguistics

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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