Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


In a world where networks are increasingly international and global, communication between speakers from different cultural backgrounds is becoming politically, economically and socially essential. Because cultural values expressed through language often do not "translate" accurately, miscommunication may arise from a lack of awareness of cultural and linguistic differences. This course explores some of the ways in which languages embody cultural differences in word meanings, in sentence structures, and in norms of interaction.



  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate awareness of ways in which cultural diversity is encoded in language;

2. Demonstrate an understanding of relationships between linguistic communication and cultural contexts;

3. Demonstrate an understanding of underlying causes of problems in cross-cultural communication;

4. Demonstrate knowledge of different approaches to the study of cross-cultural interaction.


The course explores ways in which language embodies cultural differences, and investigates problems and principles in the study of cross-cultural communication. Topics to be discussed will include:

  • words, meanings and cultural values - how vocabulary can give insight into a culture;
  • linguistic and cultural metaphors;
  • norms of conversational interaction - cross-cultural comparisons;
  • problems in describing cultural values - "indirectness", "restraint", "politeness".


This course replaces LING3003. If you have successfully completed LING3003 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge


Assessment items

Written Assignment: 2 x Essays / Written Assignments

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Case Study

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.