Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
COMM 140
Course Title:
Introduction to Intercultural Communication
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Explores the nature and impact of different cultures on communication. Includes interactive relationship forms as the basis for global understanding in the classroom, business or travel. Focus on processing messages with accelerating changes in political, economic and immigration patterns through individual cultural perceptions. Understand and communicate with people who are "different." Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students will be able to:

  • explore how culturally-based assumptions influence communicative behaviors, perceptions, and attitudes.
  • examine historically-based worldviews and the evolution of communication through the filter of cultural ideas, behaviors and issues.
  • critically examine the impact of cultural filters on communication in order to become more sensitive toward people with different values and beliefs.
  • analyze how social institutions perpetuate systems of privilege and discrimination and how these are manifested through communication in order to improve one€™s own communication.
  • explore intercultural communication in terms of power relationships.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

The forms of assessment will be determined by the individual instructor.

Assessment strategies may include:

  • Qualitative examinations
  • Quantitative examinations
  • Essays Journals
  • Research papers In-class participation
  • Portfolios Projects
  • Oral presentations Group work
  • Service Learning

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts, and Issues:

  •  Ethnocentrism
  • Conflict
  • Social Perspective-taking
  • Power
  • Culture
  • Diversity
  • Perception
  • Language
  • Symbolic Interactionism
  • Prejudice and oppression (isms)
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Intercultural Communication theories

Competencies and Skills:

 Students will:

  • Be able to explain the complexity of the term "culture."
  • Be able to see how the nature of language causes one to "see" the world from others.
  • Be able to determine how cultural, ethnic, class, etc. differences affect values and tolerance.
  • Be able to identify and compare beliefs and values, world views, and the social organization of diverse people.
  • Be able to exhibit tolerance towards cultural differences.
  • Be able to engage in introspection to determine how one€™s cultural perceptions, attitudes, values, and beliefs influence the communication process.
  • Be able to reduce anxiety when communicating with people from cultures other than one€™s own.
  • Be able to gain the ability to self-reflect/analyze one€™s own cultural frame of reference

A textbook is required. Suggested texts. Alternative texts need Dept. or SAC chair approval.

Communication Between Cultures, Samovar, Porter, and Stefani. Intercultural

Communication in Contexts, Martin and Nakayama.  Foundations of Intercultural

Communication, Chen and Starosta.  Intercultural Communication: An Introduction, Jandt. 

Intercultural Competence, Lustig.  Pearson