• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Linguistics
  • Areas of interest Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

This course offers a meaning based-approach to cross-cultural communication. In different societies people speak differently, not only because they speak different languages but because their ways of using language are different. These differences can be profound and systematic, reflecting different cultural values, or at least different hierarchies of values. This can be the case even within one country. By studying cultural values manifesting themselves in different ways of speaking, we can improve our ability to interact with others.

Topics explored in the course include the following: The ‘logic of conversation': Are there universal principles of human conversation?; Different styles of social interaction; communicative styles and ‘cultural scripts', key words; heterogeneity of societies and the problem of stereotyping; different attitudes to emotions and non-verbal communication. How can we study these empirically?  Examples are drawn from Anglo-Australian Anglo-American, African American, Indigenous Australian, Chinese, French, Japanese, Jewish and Israeli, Korean, Malay, Melanesian, Polish, Russian, Southeast Asian, Hispanic, and West African speech communities.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain how and why miscommunication happens and how stereotypes are formed.
  2. Identify speech practices that are characteristic of a speech community or community of practice.
  3. Describe speech practices and associated ways of behaving from a non-ethnocentric perspective.
  4. Identify ways of studying cross-cultural and intercultural communication.
  5. Reflect on their experience and contribute, in their own way, to a better intercultural understanding in Australia and in the world.
  6. Think about, write and present an argument using evidence from intercultural and crosscultural research.

Indicative Assessment

Assignment: 1000 words (20%)  [Learning Outcomes 2, 3]

Essay: 2500 words (40%) [Learning Outcome 6]

Tutorial and Wattle class forum posts and discussion (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1-5]

In-class test: 1 hour (20%) [Learning Outcome 4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


3 hours of classes for 8 weeks, 2 hours of classes for 5 weeks, and up to 4 hours a week outside contact hours.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed LING2021 or LING6021. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

A reading brick available on-line via the course Wattle site.

Assumed Knowledge

No assumed knowledge or required skills




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

There are no current offerings for this course.

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions