Course outline_ENG603_Communication And Culture




Title:                    Communication And Culture

Course code:       ENG603

No. of credits:      3 credits



The course is designed to provide graduate students in TESOL with a background in understanding some of the historical and contemporary theories of communication and culture.

Intercultural communication principles are extremely important tools for students of language teaching, linguistics, business, philosophy, and psychology. Culture is intrinsically linked with communication and this critical nexus requires a system for both codifying and applying principles of comprehension which can be readily utilized by those exposed to a multicultural working environment.  Various elements of culture and communication explored in the course are expected to enable the in-service teachers, hence their potential students of English in return, to become more effective communicators within a global context.

This course also provides an opportunity to study various views in culture and communication via analyses, discussions, presentations and sharing of authentic classroom experiences. Linguistic components, strategic competences, discourse and socio-cultural skills are the main focuses related to theories and personal outlook. Various materials such as texts, articles, documents, films, etc. allow the student to broaden their knowledge of cross-cultural communication. Practically, this course aims to encourage the in-service teachers to reflect on how theories of culture and communication should be applied in their own English classes in the context of Vietnam. Multiple viewpoints on the relationship between culture, communication and language enrich both teachers and learners and widen their perspectives in life and work. 


  • The course equips the in-service teachers with basic concepts and theories of communication and culture;
  • The course tackles various views in culture and communication including various views in culture and communication and barriers to communication in a multicultural environment.
  • The course enhances the in-service teacher’s communication skills, such as presenting, debating and convincing skills as well as critical thinking in discussing controversial contemporary issues in culture and communication.
  • The course enables the in-service teacher to approach intercultural communication from a global perspective;
  • The course enables the in-service teacher to reflect on their own intercultural experiences to develop culture-related activities for teaching and learning of English as a foreign language in Vietnam.


  • Communication and culture- an introduction
  • The Deep structure of culture: Roots of reality
  • Worldview – Cultural explanation of life and death – Shaping interpretations of reality: Cultural values
  • Culture and the individual: cultural identity
  • The language-culture relationship
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Emotions
  • Media influence
  • Popular culture
  • Techniques for teaching cultural awareness
  • Presentation of Group Project Output
  • education in Canada and the USA


4.1. Required textbooks

  • Samowar, L.A, Porter, R.E, & McDaniel, E.R. (2017). Communication between cultures. Boston: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
  • Jandt, F. E. (2001). Intercultural Communication – An Introduction. 3rd Ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publication, Inc.

4.2. Reference materials

  • Martin, N.J. and Nakayama, T.K. (2010). Popular culture and intercultural communication in intercultural communication in contexts. London: Mayfield.
  • Matsumoto, D. (2013). Culture and emotion in culture and psychology-People around the world. Australia: Wadsworth.
  • Moran, P. R. (2001). Teaching culture: perspectives in practice. Ontario: Heinle & Heinle, Thompson Learning.
  • Rodman, G. (2008). Mass media: In a changing world. Singapore: McGraw-Hill.
  • Rosengren, K. E. (2006). Communication –an introduction. London: Sage Publications Ltd.
  • Sharifian, F. & Palmer, Gary B. (2007). Applied Cultural Linguistics: Implications for second language learning and intercultural communication. John Benjamins Publishing Co.
  • Tseng, Y.H. (2002). A lesson in culture. ELT Journal, 56(1), 11-12. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Articles
  • Journal Articles for further reading may be provided during the course (and self-searched by students).
  • Articles from Journal of Intercultural Communication, ISSN 1404-1634. URL:


5.1     Midterm (50%)

  • Assignment (Group presentation on assigned readings/issues) (20%)
  • Midterm (Group project: self-chosen topics, both oral, 15%, & written reports, 15%) (30%)

5.2     Final (50%)

  • Final individual project (written report)


  • Directed study:               45 periods
  • Independent Study:        135 periods