COMM ---- Cross-Cultural Communications

Cross-cultural communication, Prof.Maurizio Gotti

20 May – 6June 2013

Aim of the course: The course explorescross-cultural communication both in general discourse and a few specialistfields, giving special attention totexts examined from an intercultural perspective. The importance of the use of English as a lingua franca isalso taken into consideration as well as its influence on the linguistic andtextual realisations at aninternational level.

Main issues: Recent trends have acceleratedmoves towards the globalisation of communication issues. This process of globalisation offers atopical illustration of the interaction between linguistic and cultural factorsin the construction of discourse,both in wider contexts and within specialised domains. This globalising trend has affected all fields, wherean international perspective is becoming more and more widespread. Indeed, nowadays many of the texts inuse at a local level are the result of a process of translation or adaptationof more general documentsformulated at an international level. The analysis of these phenomena is asource of valuable evidence as to thelanguage-culture interface.

Here are some of the topics tobe dealt with within the course:
• Language and culture
• Awareness of culturaldifferences in communication
• Global genres in localcontexts
• Negotiating in anintercultural setting
• English as a lingua francain a global context
• Cross-cultural(mis)communication
• Communicating promotionaltexts to diverse audiences
• Intercultural businessdiscourse

Teaching methodology: The teaching methodology willbe based on an integration of various approaches to be adopted in class:

• Lecturing
• Case studies
• Group work
• Brainstorming and Discussion
• Presentation of papers

Prerequisites: No specific prerequisites areexpected for the attendance of this course; all linguistic and specialized concepts will be explained andexemplified in class.

Learning outcome: At the end of the coursestudents should be able to:

• Be aware of culturaldifferences in communication
• Identify the mainintercultural aspects of discourse
• Adopt adequate communicativestrategies to convey specific information to diverse audiences

Time schedule and course outline:



Week 1


Monday 20 May:  9-12

Cross-cultural communication

Tuesday 21 May: 9-12

Cross-cultural (mis)communication

Wednesday 22 May: 9-12

Politeness strategies

Thursday 23 May: 14-17

Scam and business emails

Week 2


Monday 27 May: 9-12

1st paper (one hour - two pages)

Intercultural business discourse

Tuesday 28 May: 9-12

Awareness of cultural differences in business communication

Wednesday 29 May: 9-12

Promotional texts in business settings

Thursday 30 May: 9-12

Communicating promotional texts to diverse audiences

Week 3



Monday 3 June: 9-12

2nd paper (one hour - two pages)

Evolving genres in web-mediated communication

Tuesday 4 June: 9-12

Mediation strategies and discourse

Wednesday 5 June: 14-17

Negotiating in an intercultural setting

Thursday 6 June: 9-13

Intercultural aspects of legal communication

3rd paper (two hours - three pages)


Thegrade for the course consists of four parts:

• 1st paper                                    20 %
• 2nd paper                                    20 %
• 3rd papercounting                    30 %
• Attendanceand participation  30 %.

Paperswill be evaluated according to contents (how carefully and appropriately thequestions have been answered).