SLS 760:
Seminar in Intercultural Communication

Christina Higgins
Spring 2010


This seminar provides students with a deep understanding of how intercultural communication has been conceptualized and analyzed in the interrelated fields of applied linguistics and sociolinguistics. The course focuses on how the constructs of 'culture' and 'cultural difference' are enacted by speakers of more than one language in conversational interactions. The course will emphasize the perspective that culture and cultural difference are social constructs that cannot be presumed, but rather are the result of active processes in interaction among conversational participants, processes which sometimes point to the relevance of cultural models, interpretive schemas, discourses, and ideologies. In this regard, the course will examine both 'micro' and 'macro' levels of interculturality. The course will also provide students with a strong foundation in interactional sociolinguistics, one of the most commonly used methodological frameworks for analyzing intercultural differences in face-to-face interaction (cf. Gumperz, 1982; Rampton, 1995). Participants will read research on the social construction of culture and interculturality from the interrelated fields of applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, and discourse analysis that examine 1) miscommunication in cross-cultural interactions; 2) the discursive construction of culture and cultural difference; and, 3) research methods for analyzing intercultural interactions. We will examine seminal work in the field, starting with cross-cultural communication studies, followed by an examination of the developments in the field that have led to the reconceptualization of this area of inquiry as intercultural communication. Following a seminar format, students will regularly lead discussions of readings and present data for analysis in workshop format twice during the semester. A final term paper of 20-25 pages (with deadlines for proposal, working bibliography, and first draft) will also be required for the course. A course packet is the required text.

Course packet: Professional Image, 2633 S. King St. (973-6599); available after 1/15


Course schedule E = indicates reading is on Laulima
1/11 Introduction to course
 
1/20 Intercultural Communication: What Are We Talking About?                                                          pupus: Hakyoon
  Spencer-Oatey, H. 2009. Unpacking culture (Ch. 2) in H. Spencer-Oatey & P. Franklin, Intercultural Interaction: A multidisciplinary approach to intercultural communication. New York: Palgrave.
  E Gunther, S. 2007. Intercultural communication and the relevance of cultural specific repertoires of communicative genres. In H. Kotthoff & H. Spencer-Oatey (eds.) Handbook of Intercultural Communication (p. 127-151). New York and Berlin: Mouton.
  Zegarac, V. 2008. Culture and communication. Ch. 3 in H. Spencer-Oatey (ed.) Culturally speaking: Culture, communication and politeness theory (pp. 48-70). London: Continuum.
 
1/27 Methods in Intercultural Communication: Interactional Sociolinguistics                                    pupus: Kuniki
  Gumperz, J. 1982. Contextualization conventions (Ch. 6) and Socio-cultural knowledge in conversational inference (Ch. 7) in Discourse strategies. Cambridge UP.
  Roberts, C. 1996. A social perspective on understanding: Some issues of theory and method. In K. Bremer et al. (eds.) Achieving understanding: Discourse in intercultural encounters. London: Longman.
  Discussion leaders: Gavin and Toshi (bringing own data)
  Workshop on transcription
 
2/3 IS studies: Miscommunication across L1/C1s                                                                                     pupus: Toshi
  Bremer, K. et al. 1996. Chs. 5, 8 in Achieving understanding: Discourse in intercultural encounters. London: Longman.
  Discussion leader: Kuniki
  House, J. 2003. Misunderstanding in intercultural university encounters. In J. House et al., (eds.) Misunderstanding in social life. Discourse approaches to problematic talk (pp. 22-56). London: Longman (Pearson).
 
2/10 Gendered miscommunication: Tannen's work on male-female conversation                             pupus: Bal
  E-book: Tannen, D. 1994. Introduction and Chs. 2-3 in Gender and discourse. Oxford UP.
  Discussion leader: Hakyoon
  Tannen's Chapter 3
  Project Proposal due by email by 2/12 (no need for attachment - send in text of email)
 
2/17 Intercultural identities                                                                                                                                  pupus: Hiromi
  E Bucholtz, M. and Hall, K. 2005. Identity and interaction: A sociocultural linguistic approach. Discourse Studies, 2005, 7, 4-5, Aug-Oct, 585-614
  E Chen, K. 2008. Positioning and repositioning: Linguistic practices and identity negotiation of overseas returning bilinguals in Hong Kong. Multilingua, 2008, 27, 1-2, 57-75
  Discussion leader: Leslie?
  tba: possibilities include Ben Rampton, Alastair Pennycook, Rebecca Black, Elaine Chun, Youngjoo Yi
 
2/24 Frames and Framing                                                                                                                                    pupus: Jaerim
Goffman, E. 1997. [1983] Frame analysis of talk. In C. Lemert & A. Branaman (eds.) The Goffman reader (pp. 167-200). Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Watanabe, S. 2005. Cultural differences in framing: American and Japanese group discussions. In S. Kiesling & C. Bratt Paulson (eds.) Intercultural discourse and communication (pp. 226-248). Malden, MA: Blackwell.
  Discussion leader: Hiromi ?
E Lytra, V. 2007. Teasing in contact encounters: Frames, participant positions and responses. Multilingua 26 381-408.
 
3/3 Intercultural Talk at Work                                                                                                                           pupus: Leslie
E Spencer-Oatey, H. & Xing, J. 2005. Managing talk and non-talk in intercultural interactions: Insights from two Chinese-British business meetings. Multilingua 24, 55-74.
Miller, L. 2008. Negative assessments in Japanese-American workplace interaction. (pp. 227- 249). In H. Spencer-Oatey (ed.) Culturally speaking: Culture, communication and politeness theory (pp. 48-70). London: Continuum.
  Discussion leader: Kaori
E Poncini, R. 2002. Investigating discourse at business meetings with multicultural participation. IRAL 40, 345-373.
 
3/10 Intercultural Talk in Institutional Contexts                                                                                             pupus: Kaori
  E Higgins, C. 2010. Discursive enactments of the World Health Organization's policies: Competing worldviews in Tanzanian HIV/AIDS prevention. Language Policy 9, 65-85.
  E Eades, D. 2006. Lexical struggle in court: Aboriginal Australians versus the state. Journal of Sociolinguistics 10, 153-180.
  Discussion leader: Leslie ?
  E Nakane, I. 2005. Negotiating silence and speech in the classroom. Multilingua 24, 75-100.
 
3/17 Intercultural Pedagogies                                                                                                                             pupus: Gavin?
  Kramsch, C. 1993. Teaching along the cultural faultline. In Context and culture in language teaching. Oxford UP.
  E Newton, J. 2007. Adapting authentic workplace talk for work- place intercultural communication training In H. Kotthoff & H. Spencer-Oatey (eds.) Handbook of Intercultural Communication 519-535. New York and Berlin: Mouton.
  Discussion leader: Jaerim
  E Byon, A. 2007. The use of culture portfolio project in a Korean culture classroom: Evaluating
stereotypes and enhancing cross-cultural awareness. Language, Culture and Curriculum 20, 1-19.
 
3/19 First draft due by 3/19 by email (10 pages minimum, plus references)
 
3/24 Spring Break
 
3/31 TBA: More ICC studies -or- in-class workshop in pairs/groups with data
 
4/7 Student-led session #2
 
4/14 Student-led session #3
 
4/21 Student-led session #4
 
4/28 Student-led session #5
 
5/5 Student-led session #6
   
5/10 Final projects due by email