module specification

TR4001 - Language, Communication and Culture (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
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
108 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
192 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 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

The 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. Lectures and seminars are designed to encourage student autonomy and participation and to develop the range of skills needed for effective study and achievement.

Module aims

This module aims to:
1. introduce students to the notion of language as a system of signs and as a means of communication across cultures,
2. introduce students to language terminology and provide them with theoretical tools with which to describe and analyse language and intercultural communication,
3. analyse linguistic, communicative and cultural features of a text,
4. familiarise students with the range of academic skills which they will need for successful completion of their degree, including library research, critical reading, problem-solving activities, academic writing and oral communication.


The syllabus of this module will include:
• 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 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,
• opportunities to discuss, practise and develop key academic skills,
•  interpersonal skills with a range of activities carried out individually, in pairs and in groups.

Learning and teaching

Weekly lectures and seminars 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 process will focus on improving and maintaining student confidence and commitment in their learning experience through self-evaluation (reflective learning journal) and collaborative work (group oral presentation). Exercises will also be incorporated to improve such skills as note-taking, information seeking, critical reading and academic writing. Lecturers’ teaching notes will be made accessible to students on WebLearn and activity sheets will be provided to them for the seminars.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module,  students will be able to:
1. use the key concepts and theories of language and culture,
2. discuss and use linguistic meta-language as well as tools with which to analyse and describe language use,
3. appreciate and evaluate the significance of linguistic and cultural features of a text,
4. describe, explain and evaluate the development of their personal academic skills.

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.

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

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


Abbott, David (1998) Culture and identity. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Aitchison, J. (2003) Linguistics, Teach Yourself Books (also published as Linguistics, an introduction by Hodder & Stoughton)

Bauer, L., Holmes, J. and Warren, P. (2006) Language Matters, Palgrave Macmillan

Crystal, D. (2003) A dictionary of linguistics and phonetics, 5th edition, Blackwell

Crystal, D. (1999) The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Language, CUP

Fromkin, V., Rodman R. and Hyams N. (2003) An Introduction to Language, Thomson Heinle

Geertz, Clifford (1993) The Interpretation of Cultures. London: Fontana.

Graddol, D., Cheshire, J. and Swann, J. (1994) Describing Language, Open University Press

Greenbaum, S. (1991) An Introduction to English Grammar, Longman

Hall, Stuart (ed.) (1997) Representation, cultural representations and signifying practices.
London: Sage in association with the Open University.

Hofstede, G. (1980) Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values.
Beverley Hills, CA: Sage.

Holliday, Adrian et. al. (2004) Intercultural communication, an Advanced Resource Book.
London: Routledge.

Katan, David (1999) Translating cultures. Manchester: St Jerome Press.

Lewis, Richard D. (2000) When cultures collide. London: Nicholas Brealey.

Taylor, Paul (1997) Investigating culture and identity. London: Collins Educational.
Woodward, Kathryn (ed.) (1997) Identity and difference. London: Sage.

Yule, G. (1996) The Study of Language, CUP