LING 2038 - Cross Cultural Communication

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2023

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.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LING 2038
    Course Cross Cultural Communication
    Coordinating Unit Linguistics
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Assessment 2 x 1000 words or equivalent practical assignments, 2500 word essay or equivalent report
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Afifa Eve Ferro


    COURSE FOUNDER: Professor Ghil‘ad ZUCKERMANN, D.Phil. (Oxford); Chair of Linguistics and Endangered Languages; School of Humanities; The University of Adelaide; Adelaide SA 5005;,,,,

    - Revivalistics: From the Genesis of Israeli to Language Reclamation in Australia and Beyond. Oxford University Press, 2020, ISBN 9780199812790 (pbk), ISBN 9780199812776 (hbk), (Special 30% Discount Promo Code: AAFLYG6)
    - å¤ÂšæºÂé€ è¯Âç Â”究 (A Study of Multisourced Neologization). East China Normal University Press, 2021, ISBN 9787567598935,

    Further info:

    BBC World, 2023: People Fixing the World: Bringing dead languages back to life:

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1- understand the importance of cross-cultural communication
    2- think critically and analyse perspicaciously communication issues
    3- understand how culture affects communication especially cross-cultural communication
    4- be able to better interact with other communities all over the globe
    5- develop intercultural awareness
    6- possess linguistic analytical skills to assess cross-cultural misunderstanding
    7- draw comparisons between a range of conversational styles
    8- write a coherent and logically-argued essay involving cross-cultural communication, drawing on a range of perspectives and source materials.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1, 4, 5, 6

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    1, 7

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    3, 4

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    1, 5, 7

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.

    1, 2, 3, 4

    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.

    1, 2, 5, 6

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

    2, 3, 4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    (1) Samovar, L. A., Porter, R. E., McDaniel, E. R., & Roy, C. S. (2017). Communication between cultures (9th Edition). Cenage.

    (2) Pp. 11-13 of Zuckermann, Ghil‘ad et al. (2015). Engaging – A Guide to Interacting Respectfully and Reciprocally with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, and their Arts Practices and Intellectual Property. Australian Government: Indigenous Culture Support.

    (3) Kheir, A. E. (2019). The Matrix Language Turnover Hypothesis: The Case of the Druze Language in Israel, Journal of Language Contact, 12(2), 479-512. doi: 
    Recommended Resources
    AIATSIS (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies): Guidelines for Ethical
    research in Australian Indigenous Studies.

    Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

    Cameron, Deborah et al. (1993), ‘Ethics, Advocacy and Empowerment: Issues of Method in Researching Languages’ Language & Communication 13(2) pp 81-94
    doi: 10.1016/0271-5309(93)90001-4

    Farina, M. (2015). Facebook first post telling. Journal of Pragmatics, 90, 1-11.

    Farina, M. (2018). Facebook and Conversation Analysis. London: Bloomsbury.   

    Fitzgerald, H. (2002). How Different Are We? Spoken Discourse in Intercultural Communication.   Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

    Hofstadter, Douglas and Emmanuel Sander (2013), Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of
    Thinking. Basic Books.

    Jackson, Jane (2014), Introducing Language and Intercultural Communication. London – New York: Routledge.

    Jandt, F. E. (2012). An Introduction to intercultural communication: Identities in a global community. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Janke, Terri (1998), ‘Our culture: Our future. Report on Australian Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights’.

    Janke, Terri / WIPO (2003), ‘Minding Culture, Case Studies on Intellectual Property and Traditional Cultural Expressions.’

    Janke, Terri (2012), ‘New Tracks, Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Expressions and the Australian Intellectual Property System’.

    Kheir, A. E. (2022). Passing the Test of Split: Israbic-A New Mixed Language, Journal of Language Contact, 15(1), 110-156. doi: 

    Kheir, E. A. (2023). Codeswitching as an Index and Construct of Sociopolitical Identity. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. doi: 

    Kotthoff, H., & Spencer-Oatey, H. (Eds.). (2007). Handbook of intercultural communication. New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

    Lai, Jessica Christine (2012), ‘Maori Traditional Cultural Expressions and the Wai 262 Report: Looking at the
    Details’,i-call Working Paper doi: 10.2139/ssm.1996384

    New South Wales (NSW) Department of Community Services(2009), ‘Working with Aboriginal People and Communities’

    Nicholls, Christine(2005), 'Death by a thousand cuts: Indigenous language bilingual education programmes in the Northern
    Territory of Australia, 1972-1998', in N. H. Hornberger, C. Baker (eds), International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism special issue on Heritage /Community Language Education: US and Australian Perspectives, Multilingual Matters, UK. vol. 8, no. 2 &3 pp 160-177.

    Rice, Keren (2004), ‘Ethical Issues in Linguistic Fieldwork’ 2006 Journal of Academic Ethics 4, pp 123-155
    doi: 10.1007/s10805-006-9016-2

    Scollon, R., Scollon, S., & Jones, R. H. (2011). Intercultural communication: A discourse approach (3rd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell.

    Spencer-Oatey, H., & Franklin, P. (2009). Intercultural interaction: A multidisciplinary approach to intercultural communication. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Tannen, D. (1979). Ethnicity as conversational style (No. 55). Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.

    Torres Strait Regional Authority (2011), ‘Cultural Protocols Guide’.

    Troy, Jaky (1992)

    UNDRIP (United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) (2007-8).

    Walsh, Michael (1997). ‘Cross Cultural Communication Problems in Aboriginal Australia’, Darwin: North Australia
    Research Unit. Discussion Paper No.7.

    Wilkins, David (1992), ‘Linguistic Research under Aboriginal Control: A Personal Account of Fieldwork in Central Australia’. Australian Journal of Linguistics 12.1: 171-200.

    Zuckermann, Ghil‘ad 2003. Language Contact and Lexical Enrichment in Israeli Hebrew, Palgrave Macmillan.

    Zuckermann, Ghil‘ad (2003), ‘Hideous Spectre of Censorship’. The Times Higher Education Supplement, 15 August, p. 14.

    Zuckermann, Ghil‘ad (2006), ‘“Etymythological Othering” and the Power of “Lexical Engineering” in Judaism, Islam and Christianity. A Socio-Philo(sopho)logical Perspective’, pp.237-58 (Chapter 16) of ‘Tope Omoniyi and Joshua A. Fishman(eds), Explorations in the Sociology of Language and Religion (Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture series). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    Zuckermann, Ghil‘ad (ed.) (2012). Burning Issues in Afro-Asiatic Linguistics. Cambridge Scholars.

    Zuckermann, Ghil‘ad (ed.) (2014). Jewish Language Contact, Special Issue of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language

    Zuckermann, Ghil‘ad (2020). Revivalistics: From the Genesis of Israeli to Language Reclamation in Australia and Beyond. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978–0–19–981279–0 (pbk), ISBN 978–0–19–981277–6 (hbk).
    Special Friend's 30% Discount Promo Code: AAFLYG6

    Online Learning
    An interview with Stolen
    Generation Barngarla man Howard Richards and his wife Isabel:

    Language Revival: Sleeping
    Beauties Awake:

    Language revival expert
    calls for native tongue title:

    Additional course-related material will be posted on MyUni including Announcements and other resources.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is delivered through a two-hour lecture (on campus and online) and one-hour tutorial (in-person or online) each week. Lectures will provide much of the content, but will also provide opportunity for discussion of issues. Tutorials will be more focussed on practical engagement with language data, problem-solving and discussion. Formative work will be undertaken in tutorials to prepare students for the completion of summative assessment tasks.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    - 1 x 2-hour lecture per week (x12)
    - 1x 1-hour tutorial per week (x10)
    - 6 hours reading per week (x12)
    - 2.5 hours research per week (x12)
    - 2 hours assignment preparation per week (x10)

    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1 Introduction to Cross Cultural Communication
    Week 2 Intercultural/Cross-Cultural Communication (CCC): a requirement for the interdependent global society
    Week 3 Communication and culture: the voice and the echo
    Week 4 The deep structure of culture: lessons from the family
    Week 5 Worldview: cultural explanations of life and death
    Week 6 Cultural history: precursor to the present and future
    Week 7 Cultural values: road maps for behaviour
    Week 8 Culture and identity: situating the individual
    Week 9 Verbal messages: exchanging ideas through language
    Week 10 Nonverbal communication: the messages of action, space, time and silence
    Week 11 Intercultural communication in contexts: applications in business, education and healthcare
    Week 12 The challenges of cross-cultural communication: managing differences
    Specific Course Requirements
    Attendance to the 80% of tutorials is compulsory. Students will be expected to contribute to class discussions during the lectures and tutorials. Application to these tasks will contribute to the 10% awarded to attendance and contribution (positive participation). 

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Mid-Point Assignment 20%
    Oral Presentation (during tutorials) 25%
    Post-Presentational Paper 45%
    Attendance & Contribution
    (Positive Participation)
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance to the 80% of tutorials is compulsory. Students will be expected to contribute to class discussions during the lectures and tutorials. Application to these tasks will contribute to the 10% awarded to attendance and contribution (positive participation).
    Assessment Detail
    Information on the assignments for this course will be available on MyUni.

    1-Mid-point Assignment

    Students should submit a 1000-word practical providing an analysis of a cross-cultural miscommunication of their choice. Preference should be given to cross-cultural miscommunication that has never been mentioned by anyone else, e.g. something that has happened to them personally. Alternatively students can analyse one of the miscommunications available at the link provided on MyUni. Please do not discuss videos that have been discussed together in class during lectures or tutorials.

    2-Oral Presentation

    Presentation Date: various

    Students are required to give a 15-minute Scholarly, Clear, Original & Thoughtful (SCOT) oral presentation (with accompanying PowerPoint slides or handouts), EITHER (1) making an in-depth analysis of any topic related to Cross Cultural Communication (The topic can be chosen from the topics covered by the lectures), OR (2) conducting a critical review of a book/article on Cross Cultural Communication. The tutor will be happy to provide you with assistance in selecting the topic. Please feel free to raise any question about the presentation in the tutorials.

    Please note: There will be a brief Q&A after each presentation and students are expected to contribute and give feedback on other students’ presentations. Please take any feedback positively.

    3-Final Paper (45%)

    Students should submit a Scholarly, Clear, Original & Thoughtful post-presentation paper – further analysing the topic chosen for the tutorial oral presentation.
    All assignments are to be submitted online, with a cover sheet attached.

    Ensure that your Full Name, Course Title, Assignment Title & Topic appear on the cover sheet.

    All assignments must be in grammatical English.

    Always keep a copy of your work.

    Assignments submitted late require a doctor’s certificate, counsellor’s certificate or similar proof/documentation.

    Extensions (normally up to one week) may be negotiated with the Course Coordinator, but this MUST be organised prior to the
    due date.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.