module specification

TR4001 - Language, Communication and Culture (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Language, Communication and Culture
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
210 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Learning reflection
In-Course Test 40%   Class test (2 hrs)
Coursework 40%   Essay (2000 words)
Running in 2020/21

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module introduces students to the study of language, its various components and their description. It also focuses on the importance and impact of cultural differences in intercultural exchanges. The module aims at providing a solid foundation in the understanding of human communication, cultural and linguistic diversity. Interactive lectures, seminars and group discussions are designed to encourage student autonomy, enhance participation and develop the range of skills needed for effective study, self confidence and achievement. Included in these skills are oral and written communication, essay planning, summarising, note taking, referencing, researching, time management, revision, critical reading and other transferable skills.


The syllabus of this module will include:
• opportunities to discuss, practise and develop key academic skills,
• an introduction to the study of language and language use,
• a conceptual framework for thinking about and discussing language, culture and communication as well as basic skills of linguistic analysis and description,
• an overview of the factors influencing language learning and language use,
• an investigation of the theories of identity, identity formation and intercultural encounters. LO1,LO2,LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Weekly interactive lectures, seminars and discussions will cover the different themes outlined in the syllabus and also develop the various learning skills through practical exercises performed individually, in pairs and in groups. The teaching/facilitating process will focus on enhancing and boosting students’ confidence and commitment in their learning experience through self-evaluation (learning reflection) and collaborative work. Regular sessions will also be scheduled to improve such skills as note-taking, information seeking, critical reading and academic writing among others. Lecturers’ teaching notes will be made accessible to students on WebLearn and activity sheets will be provided to them during seminar sessions for problem-solving activities. The focus will also be put on self awareness of learning style and reflective skills in assessing both weaknesses and strengths in learning.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module,  students will be able to:

1. describe, explain and evaluate the development of their personal academic skills,
2. use the key concepts and theories of language and culture,
3. discuss and use linguistic meta-language as well as tools with which to analyse and describe language use.

Assessment strategy

Summative assessment is based on 3 tasks of a different nature, each one preceded by formative elements which will provide students with ample opportunities to make full use of feedback received by the whole class and individually, both verbally and in written form.
The students receive formative feedback on work that they submit regularly throughout the year, with the view of enabling them to feed forward, enhancing their existing strengths and avoiding repetition of any prior mistakes. This regular and in-depth feedback on draft work is given during seminar sessions.

Summative components include:
1.  A Reflective Learning Report (20%)
2. A 2 hour class test (40%)
3. A 2000 word essay (40%)

Formative tasks include:
1. A reflective exercise on a formative assignment
2. Group presentations
3. Essay planning and essay writing


- Course book (essential)

Aitchison, J. (2010) Linguistics, Teach Yourself. London: Hodder.

- Reference: language, communication and culture

Abbott, D. (1998) Access to sociology: culture and identity. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Bauer, L., Holmes, J. and Warren, P. (2006) Language matters. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Crystal, D. (2002) The English language. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Crystal, D. (2008) A dictionary of linguistics and phonetics. 6th edition. Oxford: Blackwell.

Crystal, D. (2003) The Cambridge encyclopaedia of the English language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Finch, G. (2000) Linguistic terms and concepts. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Fromkin, V., Rodman R. and Hyams, N. (2017) An introduction to language. 11th edition. Boston, USA: Wadsworth Publishing Co Inc.

Geertz, C. (2010) The interpretation of cultures. London: Fontana.

Graddol, D., Cheshire, J. and Swann, J. (1994) Describing language. 2nd edition. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Greenbaum, S. and Nelson, G. (2009) An introduction to English grammar. Third edition. London: Routledge.

Greenbaum, S. and Quirk, R. (1990) A student’s grammar of the English language. London: Longman.

Hall, S. (ed.) (2013) Representation, cultural representations and signifying practices.
London: Sage in association with the Open University.

Hofstede, G. (1984) Culture’s consequences: international differences in work-related
values. Beverley Hills, CA: Sage.

Holliday, A. et. al. (2010) Intercultural communication, an advanced resource book.
Second edition. London: Routledge.

Jackson, J. (2014) Introducing language and intercultural communication. London:

Katan, D. (2004) Translating cultures: an introduction for translators, interpreters and
mediators. Second edition. Manchester: St Jerome Press.

Lewis, R. D. (2005) When cultures collide. Third edition. London: Nicholas Brealey.

Lightbown, P.M. and Spada N. (2013) How languages are learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Littlewood, W. (1985) Foreign and second language learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pinker, S. (2015) The language instinct: how the mind creates language. London and New York: Penguin.

Saeed, J.I. (2015) Semantics. Oxford: Blackwell.

Taylor, P. (1997) Investigating culture and identity. London: Collins Educational.

Woodward, K. (ed.) (1997) Identity and difference. London: Sage.

Yule, G. (2015) The study of language. Fifth edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

- Reference: academic skills

Burns, T. and Sinfield, S. (2016) Essential study skills. Fourth edition. London: Sage.

Crème and Lea, M. R. (2008) Writing at university: a guide for students.  Buckingham:
Open University Press.

Lowes, R., Peters, H. and Turner, M. (2004) The international student's guide. London: Sage

Van Emden, J. and Becker, L. (2003) Effective communication for Arts and Humanities students. Basingstoke, UK:  Palgrave.