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Unit information: Intercultural Pragmatics and Communication. in 2015/16

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Unit name Intercultural Pragmatics and Communication.
Unit code EDUCM0002
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Woodfield
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The unit focuses on Intercultural Pragmatics as the study of language in context in intercultural communication and aims to provide insights into the relationship between linguistic, social/situational and cognitive dimensions of such study and the theoretical, research and practical dimensions of the field.. The unit aims to introduce students to, and develop skills in, (i) a range of research approaches in intercultural pragmatics through critical and reflective readings of empirical studies in the field, (ii) the application of analytical approaches to intercultural communication in a range of discourse contexts with a focus on spoken and written data, and (iii) the application of intercultural pragmatics for language teaching. Indicative unit content includes: Researching Pragmatics; Politeness and Impoliteness theory; Cultural variables in communication (the influence of cultural norms on linguistic choices); Intercultural Pragmatics and English Language Teaching; Pragmatic development in a second language (theory, method and application); Intercultural Pragmatics and Language Corpora; Speech Acts and Gricean Maxims in context.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Develop a pragmatics-focused instructional component in curricula.
  • Understand and apply a range of approaches to researching intercultural pragmatics.
  • Identify and analyse learner errors and linguistic choices in intercultural communication.
  • Critique & design empirical studies in intercultural pragmatics with regard to theoretical underpinnings and research approaches.

Teaching Information

Lectures, Seminars and Workshops, Tutorials, Blackboard.

Assessment Information

The format of assessment follows the format for optional units on the MSc TESOL programme. Either: 1) Professional Task. A negotiated assignment of 4000 words exploring profesional aspects of Intercultural Pragmatics, informed by both current perspectives in the literature, and the development needs of a specific curricular context. Or: 2) Research Design. An outline proposal of 4000 words for an empirical research study addressing a current theoretical or curricular issue in Intercultural Pragmatics, including a focussed literature review, research questions and procedures for data collection and data analysis.

Reading and References

  • Alcon Soler, E. & M. P. Safont Jorda (Eds). 2008. Intercultural Language Use and Language Learning. Springer.
  • Archer, D. & P.Grundy (Eds) 2011. The Pragmatics Reader. London: Routledge.
  • Ishihara, N. & A.D.Cohen 2010. Teaching and Learning Pragmatics: Where Language and Culture Meet. London: Longman.
  • Kotthoff, H. & H.Spencer-Oatey (Eds) 2007. Handbook of intercultural communication. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • O'Keeffe, A.; B.Clancy & S.Adolphs 2011. Introducing Pragmatics in Use. London: Routledge.
  • Spencer-Oatey, H. 2008. Culturally speaking. Culture, Communication and Politeness theory. 2nd edition. London: Continuum.