HENB01403U English - Elective 3, topic 3: Cross-cultural communication and foreign language learning and teaching

Volume 2017/2018



This course explores cross-cultural norms for communicative behaviour from a foreign language learning perspective: rules governing how to engage in conversation and how to express different speech acts in a polite and appropriate manner. All these conventions of communication differ across cultures and social groups and acquiring pragmatic competence to deal with communicative needs is a difficult and often frustrating task for the foreign language learner. During the course we will look at research on cross-cultural communication across different language groups and discuss developmental studies of pragmatic competence and the transferability of pragmatic skills across languages. A number of theoretical and pedagogical issues related to teaching cross-cultural norms and different proposal for a classroom methodology will be discussed.


The course will be conducted using a mixture of lectures, group work and discussion. Course material will be based on Ishihara, N. and Cohen, A.D. (2010) Teaching and Learning Pragmatics. Where Language and Culture Meet. Longman Applied Linguistics and a number of research articles.

Why choose a topic within Foreign Language Acquisition as one of your electives? It is of course an obvious choice if eventually you might want to teach English as a foreign language. However, knowledge of how native and non-native speakers manage cross-cultural communication is also useful for the language consultant. In addition, the course might inspire you to carry out a small scale empirical study for your BA-project, and it will serve as preparation for specialising in foreign language acquisition at the MA-level.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 162,75
  • Total
  • 204,75
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assesment