Psyc 257  Intercultural Communication
Course Outline
Winter 2019

Camosun College

Dr. R.G.Tonks                                       
Office: Ewing 240                            
Phone: 370-3197                                 
Office Hours:   (Online Th 10:20-12:00)
if you want to see me in person timetable     
Email: through d2l                   



Course Description

The course explores relevant concepts, attitudes and skills.  Students develop an awareness and competence ineffective communication in culturally diverse settings. The topics include theories of culture and diversity, verbal and non-verbal intercultural communication, prejudice, discrimination, ethnocentrism, and adapting to new cultures. Competence and practice in intercultural communication skills are emphasized.   



Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course the student will be able to:



Learning the basics of communication and the nature of culture, we will look at the nature of personhood within cultural contexts.  We will also examine the role of communication in the development and maintenance of selves and communities.  This will involve a consideration of mythology in art, literature and everyday life.  As such we will consider culture and communication within various contexts including migration and adjustment, health, business, music, traditions and rituals, media, commerce and the marketplace. 


Martin, J.N. & Nakayama, T.K. (2013). Intercultural Communication in Contexts. New York: McGraw HIll

Course Content:

 As an online course we will conduct the entire course through d2l. We will attempt to simulate a regular classroom environment, hower, where there will be weekely lectures (podcasts) and notes to accompany them, along with activities. Each week, students will be expecte to post their activity informatio in thediscussion board and responds to other students' postings. The class activities are aimed at facilitating awareness and skills of intercultural communication.  The lecture material (podcast posting) and is designed to help students understand and interact with the material.  Readings from the textbook will support the lecture material, but will at times vary from the material covered in the lecture.  At times there will be supplemental readings that will be posted inside d2l. 


Online Activities (& discussions)


Culture Journal 15 %  Due April 12
Research Paper or Project 25 %   Due March 29
Report 1 (Take home) 15 %   Due March 1
Report 2 (Take home) 15 %   Due April 15


Readings:  See Syllabus  

Online Activities: Each week (topic of the course) we will have online discussions or other short activities that each student will be asked to complete. Some of these will entail discussion of study questions that help to integrate material and offer critical appraisal of the topics covered, while others will involve some research or action on the part of students before they make their postings to the discussion board in d2l . Half of the marks (15%) for this will be assigned for the posting of your activity information whie the other half (15%) will be for commenting on someone else's posting. It is important that you be sure to make at least one reply per topic, in addition to making your own initial post.

 Reports: The two reports will be constituted by developing short essay style answers to study questions that will be examined throughout the course.  The report assignments will contain a subset of the course study questions and the students will answer one question for each report from that list in approximately 3 pages typed double spaced. Many of these questions will be part of the activities that we will undertake, as such you will have some opportunity to discuss the questions with the class before it is time to write the report.

Culture Journal: You will maintain a journal of your inter-cultural communication experiences over the semester. This may include critical reflections on your participation in weekly activities as part of the class and what you have learned.  You will likely also add observations to the journal that you make throughout your daily life regarding communication and culture; hopefully integrating issues that we have covered with your observations. If you would like some early feedback on your journal entries you may submit your journal around midterm time for non-graded review and the final journal submissions will be on the date indicated on the syllabus.

Research Project: The research project will involve your investigation into a topic in inter-cultural communication that draws from one or more areas of the course material. The project may involve a review of past research or theory on your topic of choice or it may involve the implementation of an applied project. You will be expected to produce a short essay in APA style of about 8 pages typed double space (2000 words) in 12 point font.  The research project will begin with handing in an outline of the topic that will be approved before the paper is written. 

Grading Scheme: (Camosun Standards)  


A+ 90- 100

B 73-76

D 50 - 59

A 85 - 89

B- 70 - 72

F 0 - 49

A- 80-84

C+ 65 - 69

I = Incomplete*

B+ 77 -79

C 60 - 64



*(If the missing work is not completed within 6 weeks from the semester end, the grade will become F).

Beyond learning basic concepts and research strategies, students are expect to produce some original written work that stands as an example of their understanding of the general principles of scientific psychology as they have been applied to a specific area of research. As such students will write article reviews as part of their group reports, making use of standard psychological styles of referencing and reporting psychological information.

Plagiarism, or the unacknowledged use of another person's ideas or words represents academic dishonesty and is grounds for expulsion from the college. Camosun policy states "If an instructor remains convinced that there has been a violation [plagiarism or cheating], he or she may assign a grade of F for the work involved or in the course..." Let's avoid that!



LEARNING SUPPORT AND SERVICES FOR STUDENTS - There are a variety of services available for students to assist them throughout their learning.  This information is available in the College Calendar, Registrar’s Office or the College web site at

ACADEMIC CONDUCT POLICY - There is an Academic Conduct Policy which includes plagiarism.  It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with the content of this policy.  The policy is available in each School Administration Office, Registration, and on the College web site in the Policy Section.