Intercultural Competence (Interkulturális kompetencia) in spring 2015
Suff, Matthew, Thu 14:00–15:30, R 315/a, host: DEAL (R306)
4-credit seminar, 30 h/term; strong prereq: ANG11-001
description & set texts
This course aims to develop students' ability to recognise and negotiate the semantic/semiotic markers of reference in contemporary texts, to understand when an unfamiliar word or phrase is merely idiomatic, when it is proverbial, and when it makes specific allusion to a cultural (predominantly historical or literary) item. This is intended NOT to provide the students with what could only be a selective and partial array of unconnected information pertaining to the domain of mere general knowledge (or trivia), but rather to increase their confidence in tackling texts that may address topics unfamiliar to them. (In some ways it will tell students what they can comfortably and confidently IGNORE in a text, thus helping them to skim, scan and read for gist!) As the role of register and strategies for indicating adherence to etiquette will both be important components, the course will be particularly useful for students intending to work in journalism and other areas of the media, and cultural or diplomatic institutions such as the British Council, American Corner or any embassy. Texts will be drawn from a variety of sources: fiction, autobiography, and reviews and cultural studies, not all originally in English, as some will be official published translations from various other languages (for example, Italian in the case of Umberto Eco).
requirements & assessment
Two written assignments, with four choices of question for each. These will take the form of essays, responses to a written text, usually based around one overarching comprehension question rather than separate questions focusing on details. One essay will be more creative and will require some research.