Embedded Skill: Intercultural Communication

Requirement – A student will be required to have one IC course.

Requirement Purpose

Engaged citizenship on a global level includes communicating with others across cultural and linguistic lines. Courses in this category are designed to put students in direct contact with speakers of languages other than their own. Cultural information and experiences will be shared through the medium of a nonnative language.

Intercultural Communication courses are not focused on achieving language competency, but rather on learning through experience. In these courses it is the experience of communicating with people using a nonnative language that brings expanded cultural and linguistic understanding. Since intercultural communication is a daily reality for much of the earth’s population, this requirement allows students to understand the world through the eyes and words of others. Students will analyze and reflect on the value of using multiple linguistic resources to access other cultural views. As a result, students will gain new perspectives on their own culture.

Required Course Characteristics

A course in this area will

  • provide explicit instruction and feedback on the development of communication skills in a nonnative language
  • involve direct interaction with native speakers of that language
  • use the nonnative language as a means of accessing and understanding another culture and how it relates to one’s own
  • examine the practices (e.g., patterns of social interactions), products (e.g., music, laws, books, food) and perspectives (e.g., attitudes, values, ideas) of the cultures under discussion
  • examine cultural similarities and differences among the cultures under study
  • lead students to recognize and expose the fallacies of cultural stereotyping

Embedded Skill Learning Objectives

Through completion of an IC course, students should be able to

  • demonstrate an improved ability to communicate (e.g., writing, speaking, and appropriate body language) in a nonnative language about topics of cultural interest
  • identify distinctive cultural practices, products and perspectives of the cultures under discussion
  • differentiate between individual and culture-based characteristics and stereotypes
  • reflect on the experience of communicating with speakers of another language

IC Proposal Form