The assignment requirement
a) discuss the relevant (including the critically-positioned literature we cover on the course) IC thinking about two of the key questions around which the course unit is framed (see below);
b) consider the possible implications of such thinking vis-à-vis a particular context (e.g. professional, academic, national, personal).
With regard to a), the key questions are as follows: “What is culture? What is communication? What is intercultural communication? What is cultural identity? What is ‘languaculture’? What is cultural learning? What is cultural awareness? What is intercultural (communicative) competence? What is otherisation? What is cosmopolitanism? How does the digital age impact on intercultural communication? What is intercultural communication education and training?”. (Two highlighted questions will be discussed in this essay.)
Also with regard to a), note the phrase ‘critically-positioned’. This phrase refers to the positioning towards IC which draws on thinking from the critical applied linguistics (CAL) tradition. For example, a CAL position encourages us to problematise key terms and ideas such as ‘culture’ and a willingness to explore newer approaches to this term, (e.g. a small-cultures approach). Even if, for your context (i.e. for assignment requirement b), you decide not to embrace such a critical approach, you need to demonstrate your understanding of it as part of assignment requirement a).
With regard to b), you might, for example, consider the possible implications of small culture thinking for discussions of cultural, national and ethnic identity in a particular country, or training practices in a multinational company, or pre-departure briefings by a university’s Study Abroad Unit. The objective here is not to present fully-developed practical ideas but rather to show that you can begin the process of ‘putting theory to work’ for real-world activities, and in this sense demonstrate the ‘applied’ aspects of IC study. (I would like to talk about a Chinese student study in UK university for a master degree.)