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Communication 319G
Intercultural Communication
Global/Intercultural University Designated Class

Dr. Janet W. Colvin


Office: CB509C mornings or by appointment
Kurlyo, A. (2012). Inter/cultural Communication. Sage publishers.

Selected Readings

Course Objectives
1 – Demonstrate thorough understanding of the basic conceptualizations of culture, cultural diversity, cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity, and cultural communication competence
2 – Apply knowledge of intercultural communication concepts like ethnocentrism, stereotyping, and prejudice to real life and/or hypothetical intercultural case studies
3 – Analyze and evaluate global or intercultural issues.
4 – Discuss stereotypical cultural conceptions and recognize the complexity and variety of different cultural groups.
5 – Evaluate how one’s own cultural rules and biases compare and contrast with those from different cultures.

Course Description:
In today’s multicultural, global society, intercultural communication is a common occurrence. It is what happens when one person from one cultural, linguistic, ethnic, racial, or social group interacts with a person from a different group. When studying intercultural communication, we face an increasing number of difficult questions to address:
- It is enough to identify differences among people?
- Are we actually reinforcing stereotypes in emphasizing differences?
- Is there a way to understand the dynamics of intercultural communication without resorting to lists of instructions?
- How does discourse play a role in intercultural communication?

Global/Intercultural understanding should be considered and explored from a variety of perspectives. The requirement will foster greater understanding of, interaction with, and appreciation for, cultures that reflect the diversity present within the local and campus communities, up to the larger state and global context. Courses satisfying the requirement will articulate and examine the unique perspectives, experiences and concerns of individuals and groups representing cultures other than one’s own. Such understanding and appreciation will both enhance the educational experience of students and facilitate their preparation to participate as active, informed, respectful citizens.

G/I Objectives:
1. To analyze and evaluate global or intercultural issues.
2. To discuss stereotypical cultural conceptions and recognize the complexity and variety of different cultural groups.
3. To evaluate how one’s own cultural rules and biases compare and contrast with those from different cultures.
To interrelate respectfully with individuals representing cultures and perspectives other than one’s own.
Throughout this course, we will attempt to better understand and answer these questions. This course is structured to help you use these approaches to develop a more precise appreciation of the complexity of human communication and to further develop your abilities and skills to understand, with a critical competence, the role of culture in various contexts.

Course Requirements:
In order to create an optimal learning environment, there are a few “basic needs” that must be meant:
• The classroom needs to be a safe place to learn, this means that we must be respectful of everyone and everything they say. We are obligated to create a space where everyone feels safe to reflect, share, disagree, and explore ideas together.
• Attendance is essential. Please be here and be on time. Because so much of your learning will take place during class discussions and activities, you will earn points for attendance to class. Please note — missed classes cannot be made up; there is no distinction between an excused or unexcused absence. Excessive tardiness may be counted as absences and result in a loss of points. 5 points are subtracted from participation scores for each missed class.
• Due dates are FIRM. Presentation dates CANNOT be changed or made-up. In the case of an extreme emergency contact me as soon as you can, otherwise the schedule provided explicitly lists the due dates for all of the assignments for the entire semester.

A note about technology: Cellular phones and other electronics are not to be utilized during class time as they distract both the user and the rest of the class. If you must leave your cell phone on during class (due to special circumstances), please talk to me in advance and turn your phone on silent or vibrate to avoid disrupting class activities. Laptops are permitted for note taking and collaboration. No texting; No face-booking; No web surfing. If I catch you doing any of these, I will deduct 15 points from your final grade. Let’s enjoy our time together 🙂

Course Expectations:
Your grade in this course will be based on the following:
- Attendance is essential! This course is designed around a series of discussions and activities. Please be here. Missed classes will affect your grade significantly. If you are unable to attend contact me by email prior to class.
- Equally important – be punctual – tardiness distracts from this learning community.
- Part of your grade will be awarded for regular in-class participation. “Participation” is not the same as “talking.” Participation is earned for active, engaged involvement in class exercises and activities. It is making quality (not quantity) contributions and critiques by listening to and with others, offering honest and constructive criticism to your classmates, investing effort in graded and non-graded assignments, participating in class activities, asking appropriate and helpful questions, and integrating readings into class discussion. This includes after I have collected them in class.
- Event attendance. You will need to attend at least 5 intercultural events (see Monopoly board) over the course of the semester that challenges you and your understanding of another culture and report on your blog. The completed board is due by the end of the semester.

BLOG (1, 3):
- You will create a personal blog, which will also be linked to our course blog. The blog will be composed of weekly blog posts. Some of these will be more directed and some will be personal reflections. You will need to submit your URL on canvas as well as tag it to the course blog. Over the course of the semester you will develop and design your blog to reflect a particular theme. Additional pictures or postings will add to this theme. The final blog presentation to the class will count as your final exam.

- Write a cultural self-assessment paper. Knowledge of intercultural communication begins with an understanding of one’s own cultural assumptions, socialization processes, and behaviors. Further, ongoing assessment of one’s own cultural norms will actively support improved intercultural communication. Cultural self-assessment is not a process that has an end. This assignment asks you to carefully consider the ideas and beliefs about cultural identity with which you grew up and those to which you continue to subscribe.
- Follow these guidelines:
- Include a one paragraph introduction and a one-to two paragraph conclusion
- Aim for depth rather than breadth. Strive for a narrow focus. Do not try to do too much.
- Make sure your writing is concise.
- Make sure your paper is well organized.
- Be sure to clearly include in-depth attention to the following areas in your paper:
- Introduction (one paragraph).

– Cultural identity overview (one page maximum). Briefly describe your own cultural identity, in terms of race, gender, and socioeconomic class. (Be sure to clearly state your gender, socioeconomic class, and race (race is different from ethnicity.) Also address other important cultural identifications you have (for example, religion, language, geographic region, or ability). Did you grow up in a small town or large city, both, either? Did you often come into contact with people who were culturally different from you?
- Ideas about Cultural Groups Different from Your Own (2 pages). Choose two of the following cultural identifications: gender, race, socioeconomic class. For each of these two identifications, you will address several questions. (For example, if you identify as a white middle class woman, you might choose gender and race. In this section, you would discuss what you learned about men and what you learned about African Americans, Asian Americans, Latin Americans, and/or American Indians. If you are middle class and you choose socioeconomic class, you would discuss what you learned about working class and/or upper class people.) Please address the following: What did you learn about groups different from your own in these two identifications? Were these groups as intelligent as your own? Have similar values? Did they usually behave in any certain way? How did these groups fit into your worldview (or not)? If you heard from your parents or other people you knew that “everyone was equal” or that you should “treat everyone the same,” did your family come into contact with enough people different from themselves to put these beliefs into practice? Make concrete examples.
- Sources of Cultural Knowledge and Input (2 pages). In regards to the two groups different from your own that you chose above, from where did/do you get your knowledge? In other words, who have been and are your teachers about these groups? What are your sources of information? How has the media shaped your information about these two groups? This section must include attention to the ways in which the media has influenced your ideas about cultural groups different from your own.
- Conclusion (two paragraphs). For this section, you should articulate three questions/areas of interest you have related to intercultural communication. Be thoughtful and specific. Reflect on sections i-iv; tell me three areas in which you would like to know more by the end of the class. Be specific. Say more than “I am hoping to be better able to communicate with different cultures,” or “I want to understand more about different cultures.”
This is a signature assignment which should be included in your Communication Major Portfolio.

- At the beginning of the semester, you will be assigned to a small group to present an e-reserve article assigned for one of the class days and lead the class in a discussion of the article. You will be expected to help facilitate conversation among your classmates on the article. You will be expected to relate the article to other readings you have done for this class and any current social events. Be sure you understand how the article contributes to the study of intercultural communication. Why was it important for us to read it? Bring with you solid discussion questions that can be introduced in class. It might be necessary for you to do some background/outside reading to further prepare to lead discussion.
- While going over the main points is important, your discussion should not start and stop there. Bring in applicable contextual materials to help you out. You may want to do some outside reading to help you contextualize. Member evaluations are due on Canvas within a week following your presentation. Member evaluations are used as a multiplier for your final score. For example, if you get a 9/10 on your member evaluations you will receive 90% of the score you received on your presentation. After the week is up you will receive a zero on member evaluations.

- This is a “service learning” designated course. As educated people, and as members of the democratic community, one of your obligations is to make the world a little better for those who are less fortunate than you. Community service, and service learning, in your college years and after, is a way for you who are educated and privileged (and you are, just because you are able to attend this institution) to give something back to the community and to model everyday moral competence. Be reminded that the community pays for a large share of your education at a state institution. This will also give you an opportunity to interact with and serve people from other cultures who live right here in our community. Therefore, as a group, you will develop a project and (each student) contribute 20 hours toward the project. Your work on this project will count a total of 500 points toward your final grade. THESE 20 HOURS MUST BE DONE WITH THE INTERNATIONAL REFUGEE COMMUNITY IN SALT LAKE COUNTY. You will need to keep track of your hours and have your coordinator sign the paper at the end of your 20 hours.
- Post updates on individual blogs about the experiences you are having with service learning and how it relates to course topics.

- Write a 2-3 page paper explaining what you learned from the service-learning experience.

- Pick an article from either NPR’s “This American Life” or “RadioLab” or a TEDTalk with a current Intercultural issue as its theme. You will then decide how you will address or resolve the issue. You will also pick at least two articles from peer reviewed journals to support your solution or point of view. You will present your information on a blog outlining your article and your solution along with the articles that support your viewpoint.
You will give a 5 minute presentation about your blog.

QUIZZES- There will be three in-class quizzes over the course of the semester.

- No late work will be accepted unless previous arrangements have been made.

Course Grading:

Events (5@10 points each) 50 

Participation in class 90 

Set up and link to course blog 15
Blog posts (10@13 pts. each) 130
Blog Presentation 60
NPR Assignment 90 

NPR Presentation 10

Cultural Self-Assessment Paper 100
Group Article Presentation 100
Member Evaluations 10 

Service Learning Participation (20 hours) 200
Service Learning self-reflection paper 25
Quizzes (3@30 pts. each) 120


Grading scale and class schedule may be changed to better fit the reading materials and class activities. If you believe there has been an error in the grading of your work, submit in writing the issues that you would like to have re-evaluated and a copy of the work before the next project is due.
Students with Disabilities
If you have any disability which may impair your ability to successfully complete this course, please contact the Accessibility Services Department (BU – 145, 863-8787, or acs@uvsc.edu ). Academic Accommodations are granted for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by Accessibility Services Department.
Ethics & Classroom Policies
Each student is expected to maintain academic ethics and honesty in all its forms. Including but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, and copyright infringement as defined hereafter:
1. Cheating- is the act of using or attempting to use or providing others with unauthorized information, materials or study aids in academic work. Cheating includes, but is not limited to, passing examination answers to or taking examinations for someone else, or preparing or copying others academic work.
2. Plagiarism- is the act of appropriating any other persons or groups ideas or work (written, computerized, performed, artistic, etc.) or portions thereof and passing them off as the product of ones own work in any academic exercise or study.
3. Copyright Infringement- is the act of using any copyrighted material without the expressed written permission of the owner or organization maintaining the rights to the work including music, written material, artistic choreography, performances, etc…).

Final Grade Scale

A 94-100 B+ 87-89 C+ 77-79 D+ 67-69
A- 90-93 B 83-86 C 73-76 D 60-66
B- 80-82 C- 70-72 F 0-59.9