LING 2038 - Cross Cultural Communication

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

Misunderstandings often arise when speakers of different languages, or indeed speakers of the same language communicate. Some misunderstandings are easily identified and rectified or may be of little consequences. At other times there can be a complete breakdown in communication. Serious miscommunication can even result when neither party is aware that there is any problem. Both parties may think that the other is understanding perfectly what they are saying, though a major misunderstanding is unfolding resulting in misdiagnosis, mistreatment, gross injustice, financial penalty or the like. The course seeks to identify and make explicit sources of misunderstanding through practical investigation of interactions in a range of contexts. It will specifically address the use of interpreters, the role of dialectal differences and different cultural scripts (including subcultures within the same language group). Practical means of identifying and minimising misunderstandings will be promoted. This course will be of interest to a wide range of students, including students of Linguistics, Medicine, Nursing and other health professions, Law, Media, Education, Social Work, languages etc.

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