IL1100 Intercultural Competences

Academic Year 2018/19 First and Second Semester

Docente TitolareJane Everett
Office"Sala dei Gelsi" (reading room behind the Internaional Office)

Learning Objectives

See 'Learning Targets' below.

Learning targets

To define culture and explore various metaphors used to represent it.

To learn and practise the skills of observing, describing and interpreting the behavior of people who are culturally different from ourselves.

To practise communication techniques that allow us  to overcome the barriers involved in intercultural communication, including:       
    - suspension of judgment
    - managing stereotypes
    - reflecting on and interpreting behavior
    - development of empathy and perspective taking

To increase self-cultural awareness and awareness of other cultures by learning a framework of cultural difference.

To study the effect of culture on international negotiation and team work

To analyze your own intercultural experience using the IRC: Intercultural Readiness Check, a framework of cultural difference and the other concepts learned during the semester.


Course Content

Module I: The Basics of Intercultural Communication

- Define the concept of culture; learn basic definitions and terms.

- Start keeping an analytical notebook of your experience during the semester in order to develop the skills of observation, description, reflection and analysis.

- Participate in exercises designed to explore the concepts of perception, stereotyping and suspension of judgement.

Block 2 Assignment:

- Research aspects of cultural difference in teams, prepare and deliver a presentation

Module II: Understanding cultural differences

- Learn a Framework of Cultural Difference with the goal of knowing yourself and others and being able to interpret behaviour in intercultural interactions.

- Map the cultures in the classroom in order to identify the key differences and also similarities that exist.

- Apply the Framework of Cultural Difference to an intercultural case to practise identifying the values that underlie the behaviour.

Block 2/3 Assignment:

- Read article on Sympathy and Empathy.

Module III:

- Explore the concept of empathy and practise seeing situations from more than one cultural perspective.

- Explore how culture influences the specific business activity of negotiation

- Explore the concept of trust as a culturally relative construct: understand why it is more difficult to establish trust across cultures and how this impacts international business interactions.

- Learn how to write a critical incident based on your personal experience and analyse it using the frameworks we have studied in class.

Course Delivery

Before starting the course, each student will be required to complete the IRC Profiling tool - the Intercultural Readiness Check. This is a questionnaire that assesses four key competences (intercultural sensitvity, intercultural communication, building commitment and managing uncertainty) that underpin the course structure. Each student will receive a personal profile report in a one-one feedback meeting with the course lecturer, which will help you understand, before starting the course, what you do well, what you find difficult and which facets and competences you need to focus on during the course. We will refer to your profile in a mid-course benchmarking session and again at the end when you will be asked to write a Personal Reflection Paper incorporating your initial and final outcomes, as well as aims for future development.

The IRC profiling tool is unique to LIUC in Italy, and you will be provided with a username and password to access the assessment.

Course Etiquette

This course is highly interactive, utilizing presentations, role-plays and simulations designed to allow you to practically apply the theory presented. It also utilizes the tool of journaling in order to encourage you to track and reflect on your experience.

As much of the learning in the course occurs in the classroom, class attendance and active participation in the lessons are crucial to achieving the learning goals. You will be evaluated on active participation, not only attendance. 

The use of cell phones / internet during class for non-academic purposes and/or not strictly related to the course activity will not be accepted. 

Course Evaluation

Class participation and attendance (I)  25%
Analytical notebook, IRC profile & reflection papers (I)  20%
Group presentation (G)    20%
Final critical incident paper - exam(I)  35%


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