• Class Number 2137
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic Online
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Catherine Travis
    • Dr Lauren Sadow
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

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. Today’s transnational flows of people, ideas, languages, and practices mean that we encounter these differences in contexts ranging from home, school, hospital, workplaces, to international business, tourism, diplomacy and humanitarian work. This drives the need to understand both ‘cross-cultural communication’ (communication across different groups and societies) and ‘intercultural communication’ (communication within groups and societies).  How people choose to interact with others stems from the languages they speak, and also from their histories, the values of the groups they identify with, their relations with their interactants, the goals of the interaction, the setting in which it takes place and the medium (digital, face-to-face, written).  We explore these from a linguistic perspective, critically examining the empirical basis for claims made about communication in a range of societies including, for example, Australia, the US, Indigenous Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Israel, Korea, and Hispanic speech communities. A general framework for understanding verbal as well as non-verbal communication across and between groups is outlined, drawing on insights from linguistics, psychology, anthropology, tourism, media and communication studies.


Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Identify and analyse speech practices that are characteristic of a speech community or community of practice.
  2. Describe and analyse speech practices and associated ways of behaving from a non-ethnocentric perspective.
  3. Identify and evaluate ways of studying cross-cultural and intercultural communication.
  4. Reflect on their experience and contribute, in their own way, to a better intercultural understanding in Australia and in the world.
  5. Carry out research on intercultural or crosscultural communication

There is no single textbook for the course. Instead readings for the course are available on the Wattle site, and from the ANU Library (books on reserve or available electronically through the Library, journal articles available through the catalogue).

Some textbooks, books and readers that cover some of the material in the course include:

  • Bowe, Heather, and Martin, Kylie. 2007. Communication Across Cultures: Mutual Understanding in a Global World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2nd edition
  • Enfield, Nick J. 2017. How We Talk: The Inner Workings of Conversation: Basic Books.
  • Hua, Zhu. 2014. Exploring intercultural communication: Language in action: Routledge Introductions to Applied Linguistics. Milton Park/New York: Routledge (Taylor & Francis).
  • Jackson, Jane. 2014. Introducing language and intercultural communication. Milton Park/New York: Routledge (Taylor & Francis).
  • Kotthoff, Helga, and Spencer-Oatey, Helen. 2009. Handbook of intercultural communication: Handbooks of applied linguistics. Berlin ; New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Piller, Ingrid. 2011. Intercultural communication. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Pride, John B. ed. 1985. Cross-cultural encounters: communication and mis-communication. Melbourne [Vic.]: River Seine Publications.
  • Samovar, Larry A., and Porter, Richard E. 1995. Communication between cultures. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth.
  • Samovar, Larry A., Porter, Richard E., and McDaniel, Edwin R. 2006. Intercultural communication : a reader. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
  • Scollon, Ronald, Scollon, Suzanne Wong Scollon, and Jones, Rodney H. 2012. Intercultural Communication: A Discourse Approach: Wiley.
  • Spencer-Oatey, Helen ed. 2000. Culturally speaking: managing rapport through talk across cultures. London/New York: Continuum.
  • Wierzbicka, Anna. 2003. Cross-cultural pragmatics. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Wilce, James M. 2017. Culture and communication: An introduction. Cambridge Cambridge University Press.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • specific written comments on your assignment,
  • peer & tutor assessment of your tutorial presentation
  • specific written comments on your exam and/or research project if you request it
  • in-class, forum and tutorial discussion
  • in person at office hours or by appointment 

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Work will consist of reading, discussing course content on the course forum and in tutorials, working as a group to present a cross-cultural perspective on the readings/topics for one week, and carrying out research and analysis for an essay.


Reading includes the lecture notes, the weekly readings, and readings for the assignments. Read steadily throughout the course. Readings relevant to tutorials and lectures will be most beneficial if done in advance.

Referencing requirements:

Harvard in-text referencing, with a full list of references formatted consistently. Stylesheet on Wattle site.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to course What is communication? What is culture? – Language and identity Forum post: Introduce yourself and your language background
2 How do we study communication? How does conversation work? Forum post: Describe a rich point experience for yourself
3 Universals of interaction Politeness Forum post: Discussion of stereotyping
4 Speech acts—direct and indirect Forum post: Describe a typical greeting or address terms.
5 Impoliteness Sarcasm, irony and humour Assignment 1 due: Analysis of speech event
6 Research methods Discourse analysis Forum post: What’s one interesting thing you learned from your assignment?
7 Comparing cultures Forum post: Find a recent media article and discuss from the perspective of cross-cultural communication.
8 Cultural values in interaction Settings Assignment 3 due: Summary of research project (post to forum) Tutorial Presentations
9 Communication in indigenous Australia Forum post: Comment on someone’s proposal, provide at least one reference. Tutorial Presentations
10 Intercultural competence Intercultural relationships and identities Forum post: Humans are weird—describe an interaction from an outsider’s perspective. Tutorial Presentations
11 Communication in workplaces Forum post: Discuss a potential or experienced miscommunication in a workplace. Tutorial Presentations
12 Communication in legal contexts Forum post: Reflection on course. Tutorial Presentations

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Speech event analysis 20 % 25/03/2019 31/03/2019 2, 3
Group presentation 25 % 31/05/2019 01/01/2029 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Research paper proposal/outline 5 % 29/04/2019 13/05/2019 5, 6, 7
Research Paper 40 % 03/06/2019 18/06/2019 5, 6, 7
Forum Participation 10 % 31/05/2019 01/01/2029 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 25/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/03/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3

Speech event analysis

Details of task and assessment rubric: Provided on Wattle website.

This task is for you to practise your skills in using tools for analyzing how language is used. 

1500 words 

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 01/01/2029
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Group presentation

Details of task and assessment rubric: Provided on Wattle website.

This task is for you to work together in intercultural groups to reflect on the readings and ideas of the course related to the week before you present, and to provide perspectives on them from different cultural backgrounds. This project is peer assessed.

Group gives presentation (via video) and leads class discussion (via posting discussion questions). 20 minutes total.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 29/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 13/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 5, 6, 7

Research paper proposal/outline

Post a 300-word proposal and outline of your research paper, including at least two key references.

This task is for you to consolidate your understanding of the ideas discussed in the readings, tutorials and lectures, and to get feedback on your final research paper.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 03/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 18/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 5, 6, 7

Research Paper

Details of task and assessment rubric: Provided on Wattle website.

This task is for you to consolidate your understanding of the ideas discussed in the readings, tutorials and lectures.  

3000 words

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 01/01/2029
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Forum Participation

Each week students will post to the online forums on Wattle.

Topics for each week are posted on the Wattle site. Expected length is 100-300 words.

This task is for you to share your understanding of and reflections on the ideas discussed in the readings and lectures, and to explore opportunities to apply the theories to current contexts.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension for Assignment 1 or the Research Essay, you must request it in writing on or before the due date with appropriate documentation. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to attend the examination, that is provided within two days of the examination, you may be able to request a supplementary examination.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Student work is returned on Wattle. 

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

No resubmission.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Catherine Travis

Research Interests

Catherine Travis

Thursday 12:30 13:30
Dr Lauren Sadow

Research Interests

Dr Lauren Sadow

Thursday 12:30 13:30

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