Intercultural Communication, ELF & ASEAN

Introduction

This 70-hour course is designed for English language professionals and Business English trainers who wish to increase their knowledge of intercultural communication issues and to develop their teaching skills to work more effectively in this important area. It explores the use of English as a lingua franca on a global scale, while also focussing on the ASEAN context in which English is the official working language of the Southeast Asian economic community.

The course is based in our Moodle VLE. All interaction takes place in asynchronous online forums, which means that participants can log in and work through the weekly units at their convenience.

Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will have a deeper understanding of the complicated character of the English language phenomenon in the world today with regard to its diverse varieties, its functions in different societies, and its role in social forces including colonialism and globalisation. You will have an understanding of English’s international lingua franca function and the characteristics of the intercultural communication that is conducted through it. You will have reflected on the most effective and appropriate ways of teaching English to speakers of other languages in different contexts given its complicated character and diverse functions and have used both a cultural dimensions approach and a small cultures approach to consider the TESOL practitioner’s ongoing quest for methodological appropriacy. You will have considered how the cultural content of the TEFL classroom might be most effectively and appropriately approached with a view to developing not just cultural understanding but also intercultural awareness and the skills of engaging with cultural texts and phenomena. And you will have an understanding of the potential of intercultural communication and intercultural communication training as sources of enrichment for existing TESOL practices in order to better prepare students to use English interculturally.

Course Syllabus

  1. The Cultural and Intercultural Landscape
    We’ll begin our journey by exploring the literature and key theories which have influenced the study of intercultural communication. We’ll also look at the origins of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and explore the importance of English as the lingua franca (ELF) in this context.

  2. The ‘Culture’ Challenge
    Unit 2 explores some of the conceptual challenges involved in addressing the term ‘culture’ and the cultural aspects of teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). We’ll also consider the linguistic context and the role of English in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines.

  3. Defining Key Terms
    Unit 3 explores a variety of cultural and intercultural conceptualisations for key terms and concerns including ‘culture’, ‘communication’, ‘intercultural communication’, and ‘cultural learning’. We’ll also consider the linguistic context and the role of English in Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

  4. Possible Paradigms for TESOL
    In this unit we’ll develop an understanding of the possible teaching and learning paradigms for TESOL which result from the diverse varieties, functions, and roles of English. We’ll also explore some linguistic features of English as a lingua franca in Southeast Asia: pronunciation, intelligibility and lexis.

  5. Cultural Learning
    This unit explores what is involved in cultural learning in terms of both own culture (acquisition) and other culture (learning). We’ll also focus on some more linguistic features of English as a lingua franca in Southeast Asia: grammar, discourse and pragmatics.

  6. A Cultural Dimensions Approach
    Unit 6 explores the use of a cultural dimensions approach to consider the TESOL practitioner’s ongoing quest for methodological appropriacy. We’ll also consider communicative strategies for ASEAN ELF users.

  7. A Small Cultures Approach
    Unit 7 explores the use of a small cultures approach to consider the TESOL practitioner’s ongoing quest for methodological appropriacy. We’ll also think about the implications of ASEAN English for language education policy.

  8. Cultural Content in TEFL
    In this unit we’ll consider ways of exploring cultural content within the context of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). We’ll also think about the pedagogical implications of the multilingual model and the lingua franca approach.

  9. Intercultural Communication
    Unit 9 explores the area of intercultural communication as relevant for TESOL practitioners.

  10. Intercultural Communication Training
    The course concludes with an overview of intercultural communication training, and looks at the role of business coaching in international trade.