Course code Valo4018

Credit points 4

Cross-cultural Communication

Total Hours in Course160

Number of hours for lectures16

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes48

Independent study hours96

Date of course confirmation29.11.2011

Responsible UnitLanguage Centre

Course developers

author Valodu centrs

Inese Ozola

Dr. philol.

author Valodu centrs

Baiba Pušinska

Mg. paed.

Course abstract

The study course presents theoretical aspects of cross-cultural communication and the importance of language and other means of communication in the cross-cultural communication process, as well as practically analyses the specific aspects and differences in communication of different cultures, thus developing cross-cultural cooperation skills and improving cross-cultural communication competence.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

After completing the course, the student will have:
1. Knowledge and understanding of the basic concepts of intercultural communication, principles of comparing different cultures, theoretical aspects, importance of language and other means of communication in the process of intercultural communication - presentation in English at the end of the course;
2. Skills to critically evaluate and practically analyze specific features of different cultures, their manifestations, dimensions of different cultures, business etiquette, behavioral norms, traditions and communication peculiarities - three tests and presentation in English at the end of the course;
3. Competence to recognize, understand, accept and respect cultural differences, to successfully manage work in a multicultural environment, and to evaluate one's personal performance in different cultural contexts (discussions in practical classes).

Course Content(Calendar)

1.Introduction. Course requirements. The division of Europe into regions. Different economic organisations within Europe. Names of countries and nationalities in English. EU issues.
2. The concept of intercultural communication, principles, the context. Business practices in different countries.
3. The concept of culture iceberg. Cross-cultural issues by Breiger and Byram. History of the cross-cultural communication, barriers, mental programming.
4. Dimensions of culture by Geert Hofstede (Individualism, Femininity, High power distance vs. low power distance). Business communication in different cultures.
5. Dimensions of culture by Geert Hofstede (uncertainty avoidance, long-term orientation vs. short-term orientation, indulgence). Welcoming of guests in different cultures according to the protocol.
6. The contexts of intercultural communication: cultural, microcultural, environmental, perceptual and sociorelational. Non-verbal communication (gestures) in different cultures.
7. Edward Hall’s concepts of time and space. Multicultural work environment. Leader of the multicultural team.
8. Review of the theories: discussion. Social etiquette in different countries. Part I
9. Richard Lewis model (Linear-active vs. multi-active vs. reactive). Social etiquette in different countries. Part II.
10. Principles of Fons Trompenaars (Universalism vs. Particularism, Neutral vs. Emotional, Specific vs. Diffuse). Food and Meals.
11. Principles of Fons Trompenaars (Achievement vs. Ascription, Sequential vs. Synchronic, Internal vs. external control). Culture landmarks and sightseeing object in different countries.
12. Review of the theories: discussion. Getting ready for presentations. Chinese and Japanese culture.
13. The concept of face. Conflict solutions. Top culture (music, song and dance) festivals.
14.The concept of universal, cultural, personal behavior. Ethical aspects in the cross-cultural communication. Political leaders in the world.
15.Presentations of individual work.
16.Presentations of individual work.

Requirements for awarding credit points

Successfully written three tests on the topics of practical work during the semester.
Two presentations have been successfully presented (prepared speech and PPoint slides on the chosen topic): 1. Presentation on cultural dimensions of the selected country. 2. Presentation on business etiquette and business practices in the selected country.
The number of the missed classes shall not exceed 20%.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

The students must independently prepare for three tests. Students individually study the cultural dimensions, traditions and business etiquette of the selected country.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

The assessment of the course consists of the sum of two presentations in addition to the cumulative assessment of discussions and tests. The study course is taught by three lecturers.

Compulsory reading

1.Morrison T., Conaway W.A. Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands. 2006. 317 lpp. ISBN13 9781593373689
2.Neuliep J.W. Intercultural Communication. Sage Publications, 2009. 413 lpp. ISBN 9781412967709
3.Stott T., Pohl A. Highly Recommended 2. Oxford University press. 2010. ISBN 9780194577502
4.Tomalin B., Stempleski S. Cultural Awareness. Oxford University press. 1998. ISBN 9780194371940

Further reading

1.Hall E.T., Hall M.R.Understanding Culture Differences. Intercultural Press. 1983. 195 lpp. ISBN139781877864070.
2.Gairns R., Redman S. Word Skills, Advanced. Oxford University press. 2011. ISBN 9780194620086
3.Corbett J. Intercultural Activities. Cambridge University Press. 2010. 262 lpp. ISBN 9780521741880

Periodicals and other sources

1.Compare Countries by Hofstede. [tiešsaiste] (skatīts 14.12.2018.). Pieejams:
2. Life and Culture issues. [tiešsaiste] (skatīts 14.06.2019.). Pieejams:


The study course is included in the compulsory part of the professional Bachelor’s degree programme “External Relations of Organizations”.