Teaching plan for the course unit



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General information


Course unit name: Intercultural Communication Techniques

Course unit code: 364549

Academic year: 2021-2022

Coordinator: Nuria Verges Bosch

Department: Department of Sociology

Credits: 6

Single program: S



Prior considerations


Our world is becoming more globalised and interconnected, and intercultural communication is therefore an increasingly exciting field of study.

This course deals fundamentally with intercultural communication and its relation to culture, society and business, aiming to understand the social and political contexts in which communication takes place.

Students learn about and discuss the major social changes and topics in contemporary sociology related to intercultural communication, explore the concepts of culture, identity and cultural diversity and how they are managed, learn about several cultures, address the main challenges for interculturality and major contemporary issues in intercultural communication, and acquire techniques for effective intercultural communication, both verbal and non-verbal. Finally, students acquire an understanding of and learn to apply the methods of social science research to analyse and understand intercultural communication.



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 150


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture with practical component

Face-to-face and online




-  Problem-solving class

Face-to-face and online




-  IT-based class

Face-to-face and online



Supervised project


Independent learning




Competences to be gained during study



CG6 - Creative and entrepreneurial skills (capacity to conceive, design and manage projects).


CG5 - Ability to work in a team (capacity to collaborate with others and contribute to a common project, capacity to work in cross-disciplinary and multicultural teams).


CG8 - Capacity to communicate in English and/or other foreign languages orally and in writing, comprehension skills, and mastery of specialized language.


CG3 - Capacity for learning and responsibility (capacity for analysis, synthesis, to adopt global perspectove and to apply knowledge in practice).


CE11 - Understanding of the culture and business practices of different countries, as the basis for adapting to an interacting effectively with other geopolitical contexts.

Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

— Understand the major social transformations related to intercultural communication.
— Become familiar with the various definitions of culture, cultural diversity and intercultural competence.
— Learn the key concepts and issues of intercultural communication.
— Analyse, interpret and explain situations and practices of intercultural communication.
— Develop skills for effective intercultural communication.



Referring to abilities, skills

— Develop a commitment to ethical practice (self-critical capacity / ability to display attitudes consistent with ethical and deontological principles).
— Be able to work together (ability to collaborate with others and contribute to a common project / ability to work as part of interdisciplinary teams and multicultural teams).
— Acquire communication skills (capacity to understand and express ideas orally and in writing in a third language, English / ability to research, use and integrate information).
— Develop the necessary learning skills to undertake further research with a high degree of autonomy.
— Be able to communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
— Improve the ability to learn and take responsibility for the learning process (capacity for analysis and synthesis, capacity to adopt a global perspective and ability to apply knowledge in practice).
— Develop entrepreneurial and creative skills (ability to devise, design and manage projects).
— Know and understand the business cultures of different countries.
— Acquire fluency in spoken and written English and a second language for business purposes.



Teaching blocks


1. Current social transformations

1.1. Migrations and international mobility

1.2. Processes and dimensions of globalisation and postmodern societies

1.3. Society and information and communication technologies

2. Culture, cultures, business and management of diversity

2.1. Culture and cultures: concepts and main topics

2.2. Identity and management of diversity

2.3. Intercultural communication and business

3. Intercultural communication: techniques and challenges

3.1. Techniques and challenges for an effective intercultural communication

3.2. Verbal and non-verbal communication

3.3. Gender and intercultural communication

4. Social research for intercultural communication

4.1. The basics of a research project on intercultural communication

4.2. Basic research methodologies and digital research

4.3. Designing and giving interculturally effective presentations



Teaching methods and general organization


a) Lectures complemented with readings and audiovisual material on the basic concepts and ideas of the subject. These sessions may be carried out face-to-face or online and introduce students to the basic concepts and processes in each of the teaching blocks.

b) Student participation in class or the Virtual Campus, including presentations, exercises and discussion of set texts or multimedia materials. This work is intended to motivate students and to encourage dialogue within the group and the development of communication skills, as well as to deepen the students’ understanding of the contents of the subject.

c) Out-of-class activities. This work consists of more practical activities as well as in-depth examination of specific topics.

d) Research project. This aims at promoting teamwork among students and focuses on strengthening their ability to create projects and to apply the methods and techniques of sociological analysis in relation to intercultural communication. This activity may require both online and face-to-face work.

The teaching hours are distributed as follows:

— Each week, students attend two 2-hour class sessions. These are used to present the basic course content and to discuss the main issues of the subject, to ensure that students meet the desired learning objectives. These sessions may be combined with practical activities such as exercises or group discussions, Culture Talks, research project work, seminars with professionals, IT work, directed learning activities, oral presentations, etc.

— For some sessions, the group will be split in two subgroups. Those subgroups alternate attendance to class.



Official assessment of learning outcomes


Continuous assessment

Students are assessed on a continuous basis during the course, through the following activities:

a) Participation in class or online discussions and activities (15%).

b) Research project on a specific intercultural communication topic (35%).

c) Exercises completed at home and brought to class (online class, if necessary) (2-3 exercises) (15%).

d) Exam (35%).

Students may opt for single assessment until the last day of class.


Examination-based assessment

Students who are unable to meet the requirements for continuous assessment may request single assessment, in which case they sit a final examination worth 100% of the final grade. The examination consists of 4 qualitative questions on case studies, problems and material covered during the course (lecture material as well as specific articles, videos and case studies): two long-answer questions (60%) and two short-answer questions (40%).

Students may opt for single assessment until the last day of class.

Repeat assessment

Students sit a final examination. The examination consists of 4 qualitative questions on case studies, problems and material covered during the course (lecture material as well as specific articles and case studies): two long-answer questions (60%) and two short-answer questions (40%).



Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB


DEARDORFF, Darla.K. (ed). The Sage handbook of intercultural competence. Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Sage Publications, 2009

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

GUDYKUNST, William.B. (ed). Cross-cultural and intercultural communication. Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Sage, 2003

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

HALL, Edward Twitchell. The Hidden dimension. Garden City (N.Y.) : Anchor Books, 1969

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

SAMOVAR, Larry .A., PORTER, Richard E., McDANIEL, Edwin R. (eds). Intercultural communication : a reader. 13th ed. Boston, Mass. : Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012

Catāleg UB  Enllaç


LaFrance, Marianne., Vial, Andrea. C. (2016): “Gender and nonverbal behavior. En D. Matsumoto, H. C. Hwang, y M. G. Frank (Eds), APA handbook of Nonverbal Communication (pp. 139-161). Washington: American Psychological Association.

Catāleg UB  Enllaç


ROOT, Elizabeth, NGAMPORNCHAI, Anchalee. I Came Back as a New Human Being” Student Descriptions of Intercultural Competence Acquired Through Education Abroad Experiences. Journal of Studies in International Education [en línea] 2013,vol.17, núm.5, p. 513-532.

Vergés Bosch, Núria., & González Ramos, Ana. M.(2013). Beyond the work-life balance: family and international mobility of the highly skilled. Sociology and Technoscience, 3(3), 55-76.

Lu, J. G., Hafenbrack, A. C., Eastwick, P. W., Wang, D. J., Maddux, W. W., & Galinsky, A. D. (2017). “Going out” of the box: Close intercultural friendships and romantic relationships spark creativity, workplace innovation, and entrepreneurship. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(7), 1091-1108. http://dx.doi.org.sire.ub.edu/10.1037/apl0000212

GONZÁLEZ RAMOS, Ana M., VERGÉS BOSCH, Núria. International mobility of women in science and technology careers: shaping plans for personal and professional purposes. Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography [en línea] 2013, vol. 20, núm. 5, p.613-629 [consulta: 21 de juny de 2017]

PRABHUDESAI, Rohid. S., PRASAD, C. V., ANG, Boon.C. Exploring Emerging Latin America: Implications for German Companies Using Spain as a Springboard Country. Global Business Review. 2017, vol.18, núm.4, p.993-1009.

GALÁN FAJARDO, Elena. La Representación de los inmigrantes en la ficción televisiva en España. Propuesta para un análisis de contenido. "El Comisario" y "Hospital Central". Revista Latina de Comunicació Social [en línia] 2006, núm. 61 [Consulta 8 de juny de 2017] ISSN 1138-5820 Disponible a: http://www.revistalatinacs.org/200608galan.htm  Enllaç

KOESTER, Jolene;  LUSTIG, Myron W. Intercultural communication competence: Theory, measurement, and application. International Journal of Intercultural Relations [en línea]. 2015, núm. 48, p. 20-21 [consulta: 8 de juny de 2017]. 

Jameson, Daphne. A. (2007). Reconceptualizing cultural identity and its role in intercultural business communication. The Journal of Business Communication (1973), 44(3), 199-235.

Dinkevych, Elena., Wilken, Robert., Aykac, Tayfun., Jacob, Frank., & Prime, Nathalie. (2017). Can outnumbered negotiators succeed? The case of intercultural business negotiations. International Business Review, 26(3), 592-603.

Ferreira-Lopes, Luana and Van Rompay-Bartels, Ingrid. (2020) Preparing future business professionals for a globalized workplace through intercultural virtual collaboration. Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, 34 (2), 21-24 .

Web page

The Hofstede Centre. Disponible a: https://geert-hofstede.com/