SYLLABUS FOR INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION
Sheena Malhotra, Ph.D.
|Class Time||Tuesdays 6:00-8:00 p.m. + asynchronous work|
Intercultural Communication focuses on the importance of culture in our everyday lives, and the ways in which culture interrelates with and effects communication processes. We live in an era of rapid globalization in which being able to communicate across cultures is imperative to our ability to function in a diverse workplace, city, and world. This course will take us on a journey. Using our stories and our online discussions, this course is designed to increase our sensitivity to other cultures. Just as importantly, this journey increases our awareness of our own cultural backgrounds, and the contexts (social, cultural and historical) in which we live and communicate.
The specific course objectives are as follows:
You will be expected to maintain an intercultural journal, explore another culture in depth, take exams and reflect on your own cultural assumptions in various forms through the course.
This intercultural course covers a large amount of material in a very short period of time. Attending the interactive online class chats is imperative. This is an interactive, experiential class. Students are expected to engage actively in class discussion, discussion boards, etc. There are many ways to participate including active listening and thoughtful inquiry. Attendance is absolutely critical to meeting the overall objectives of this course. Since your participation grade will be evaluated based on your active participation in class discussions, discussion boards, and other in-class exercises, attending class is a pre-requisite to getting a good grade overall.
The purpose of the readings is to give us a theoretical as well as narrative basis to understand different dynamics and issues within Intercultural Communication. Class discussion will build from the reading so it is assumed that the reading has been completed before the assigned date. You will be expected to write about your readings in your journal.
Online Discussion Boards: The content of this course is not “merely” theoretical or political, but rather, it involves our personal lives—our relationships, our careers, our families as we exist in a global and increasingly intercultural context. Readings should be done well in advance to class. You should be prepared to contribute well thought-out and relevant content to the discussion questions posted online. You will be expected to demonstrate your preparation by posting to discussions and responding to classmates posts online to have a dialogue about the readings in ways that are different from in-class discussions.
Other-Culture Interaction Essay:This assignment requires that you have an intercultural interaction with someone from a culture different than your own, read about that different culture in depth, reflect upon it and write about it. Once you have identified the “friend” you will be interacting with for this assignment, read up about their culture and history ahead of time. Formulate some questions you want to ask them about their culture and experience. Spend 3-4 “contact hours” with the person or group from a culture different from your own. Talk to them or interview them about their culture. Observe their interactions (if spending time with a family or group). The purpose of this assignment is to help you learn about a cultural system that is different from yours through reading and through interactions with members of that cultural group. Write a 3-4 page reflective paper about the intercultural experience in which you have participated. The paper should include:
Mid-Term and Final Exams: The mid-term and final exams will consist primarily of objective, multiple-choice and/or “short essay” type of questions – constructed mostly to ensure that you have understood the terms and concepts used in intercultural communication. Essay questions on these exams are designed for students to synthesize and apply material covered throughout the class.
Intercultural Journal: You will be required to write an intercultural journal through the duration of this course. You should try to make about two entries per week and turn them in on the dates designated in this syllabus. The purpose of this assignment is to:
Use the following questions or thought guidelines in your writing (you are not limited to these, and you do not have to answer each of these questions each entry... these are just questions to get you started):
I will be expecting ½ to 1 page per entry. Do make sure to react to the readings in some way in order to demonstrate that you have done them. If you are a visually-oriented person and wish to use pictures, etc., please feel free to do so. While this can be a demanding assignment for some, it can be an invaluable tool as we grapple with different issues and concepts.
My role in this class will be primarily that of a facilitator of discussions… someone who brings to you certain texts and readings that are relevant to the theme of the class. I hope this will be a class where we can all teach each other, through our own experiences and reflections about culture in various communication contexts. Therefore, the discussions can be a lot of fun if everyone in the class gets into them. Respect for every student’s experience and opinion will be expected.
Also, because some of the theoretical and critical issues we will deal with in this course are complex, it is important that students stay current on the reading. Reading should be done well in advance to class and students should be prepared to contribute well thought-out and relevant questions and content to the discussion. Please do the readings before logging into class chats as they are essential for meaningful discussions to occur. This is part of your participation grade. Unannounced mini-quizzes will be administered if many of you consistently do not keep up with the readings and/or are missing class regularly.
Attendance and Participation: A significant portion of your grade depends on your attendance and active participation in the class. This requirement consists of the following components: (a) attendance, (b) punctuality, (c) keeping up with the readings, (d) active participation in online class discussions (e) participation in group work.
Late Work: Turn in papers and projects on the date they are due, unless you have a legitimate university-approved reason (such as a medical emergency). Late work will loose points and may not be accepted if it is submitted more than one week after the due date (based on context at discretion of the instructor).
Academic honesty and plagiarism: All assignments must be the student’s own original work. Please cite sources in your papers and familiarize yourself with UCLA guidelines on academic honesty.
All papers for this class will be submitted to the "Turn it in" website. Turnitin.com is an anti-plagiarism site. When you submit a paper here, it compares it to millions of library databases, internet sites and other student papers to check for originality and gives it an originality score. This helps ensure that the work being turned is your own. So please make sure you are doing original work. If you are quoting from someone, please make sure you attribute the source properly. Plagiarism and cheating are grounds for university action and will not be tolerated. It is the responsibility of the instructor to report any cases of plagiarism to the administration and can result in an “F” on the assignment, in the class. In order to submit your papers (other culture interaction paper & journals), please follow the instructions for “turnitin.com” provided on the class schedule page.
Link to SCHEDULE