Introduction to Intercultural Communication

Course Number: COMM 140
Transcript Title: Intro to Intercultural Comm
Created: February 27, 2013
Updated: August 16, 2017
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: Yes
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0


MTH 20 or equivalent placement test

Prerequisite / Concurrent

Course Description

Explores the impact of different cultures on communication. Includes interactive relationship forms as the basis for global understanding. Focuses on processing messages with changing political, economic and immigration patterns through individual cultural perceptions. Understand and communicate with people who are "different." Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate respect and sensitivity for cultural diversity and values and beliefs that differ from their own.
  2. Understand the impact of cultural filters and culturally-based assumptions and how they impact communication, perceptions and behaviors.
  3. Recognize the cultural and historical bases of difference and the concept of "other."
  4. Demonstrate awareness and knowledge of key intercultural communication principles and concepts, including the role of social construction and how it perpetuates social inequities.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

In-depth 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)


2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)


4. Appreciate cultural diversity and constructively address issues that arise out of cultural differences in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)

Not Addressed

5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • In-class participation in cross-cultural activities.
  • Journals chronicling cross-cultural interactions and identifying culturally-based assumptions and interpretations
  • Research papers exploring historically- and culturally-embedded behaviors, values and beliefs.
  • Oral presentation of Cultural Profile, depicting one's own cultural heritage through visuals, artifacts and narrative.
  • Critical analysis of films representative of and relevant to cross-cultural concepts.

Course Activities and Design

  • Weekly readings from course textbook and chapter quizzes
  • In-class activities including role plays, simulations, critical incidents, case studies
  • In-class discussion of intercultural concepts and principles
  • Supplemental films
  • Presentation and sharing of cultural profiles
  • Field exercises

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts, and Issues

  • Ethnocentrism
  • Conflict
  • Social Perspective-taking
  • Power
  • Culture
  • Diversity
  • Perception
  • Language
  • Symbolic Interactionism
  • Prejudice and oppression (isms)
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Intercultural Communication theories

Competencies and Skills

Students will:

  • Be able to explain the complexity of the term "culture".
  • Be able to see how the nature of language causes one to "see" the world from others.
  • Be able to determine how cultural, ethnic, class, etc. differences affect values and tolerance.
  • Be able to identify and compare beliefs and values, world views, and the social organization of diverse people.
  • Be able to exhibit tolerance towards cultural differences.
  • Be able to engage in introspection to determine how one’s cultural perceptions, attitudes, values, and beliefs influence the communication process.
  • Be able to reduce anxiety when communicating with people from cultures other than one’s own.
  • Be able to gain the ability to self-reflect/analyze one’s own cultural frame of reference.