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Module:  Acquiring Intercultural Competence
Introduction & Acronyms
Syllabus Structure
Assessment Strategy


Module: Acquiring Intercultural Competence


Syllabus Structure

A Semester prior to Year Abroad

1. Introduction to the module (module tutor)

Diary and portfolio as tools for monitoring one's Intercultural learning.

2.Introduction to cultural identity (workshop led by Student Services counsellor).

  • Looking at the self
  • Unpacking one’s assumptions
  • Non verbal behaviour

3. Attitudinal issues (workshop led by Student Services counsellor)

  • Self awareness: how constrained, how relaxed when going into other place / culture?
  • Judgmentalism. Assessing one’s ethnocentrism.
  • Issues of conformity. Norms of behaviour.

4. Home culture. Subcultures. Micro-communities. (module tutor)

  • Reporting back on discussions with foreign students / FLA’s about "British Culture"
  • Stereotypes
  • Personal sociogram

5. Stereotypes and Intercultural Incidents (module tutor)

  • Contrasting stereotypes of the British to stereotypical representations of others (including ICP database)
  • Selecting and contrasting intercultural incidents in ICP database
  • Discussing preferences: open ended? single solution incident?

6. Factors in Intercultural Incidents. Language. Attitudes. Expectations. (module tutor)

  • Designing intercultural incidents based in home culture.

7. Sociolinguistic Awareness and Competence: language in home culture (module tutor)

  • Discussing samples of texts and their contexts. Medium.
  • Participants. Age. Gender. Shared knowledge etc...
  • Giving advice to potential students of English on where and how to learn to communicate in English. Reflecting on motivation behind advice.

8.Sociolinguistic Awareness; language in foreign culture (specific language tutors).

  • Discussing and analysing features of written and spoken texts in FL.
    Literature, business, music, sport, education, administration etc...
  • Appropriateness of formality, familiarity.

9. Sociolinguistic Awareness and Competence (specific language tutors)

  • Reflecting on statements such as: "the only way to learn the language is to live in ..." "you can’t learn the language by living in region x".

10. Expectations. Objectives. Motivation. (module tutor)

  • Report on findings through database activities.
  • "Leeds pack" workshops
  • Own expectations from YA. Others’ expectations (home / host institutions, employers etc...).
  • Card game: defining priorities.

11. Presentation of portfolio (module tutor)

  • Setting Objectives for PRA.
  • Strategies for coping in foreign country (socially, linguistically).

12. Viva (with Student Services counsellor)

  • reporting on impact of course, on emotional, attitudinal shifts
  • surprises? expectations?
  • are objectives (for YA) defined more clearly?



  • Work / study placement
  • Continuation of personal diary
  • Sociolinguistic investigations
  • Continuation of portfolio


C Semester following YA

1. Presentations in conjunction with mainstream classes (specific language tutors)

2. Feedback (to Student Services counsellor):

  • how useful was it to look at own culture?
  • high / low points whilst abroad?
  • when did shift occur from "visitor" to "resident"?

3. Workshop with foreign nationals (module tutor)

  • Comparing first impressions of being in the other country.
  • Comparing preparation, learning process.

4. Preparation of workshops in tandem with foreign students, for the benefit of outgoing students (to include setting up mailing list).
Reflecting on / observing working methods, organisation etc. (module tutor / EFL tutor).

5. Careers workshop (Careers tutor)

  • Employability skills from Year Abroad.
  • What do employers want from Graduates?
  • How do students create employability skills?
  • Audit of own employability skills.
  • Translating employability skills into real life applications.
  • "Owning" and defining one’s skills.
  • Being selective about one’s skills.

6. Diary ends. Write analytical account of the learning process, based on diary (2000-3000 words). (assessed by Student Services counsellor).