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APPL8110 – Pragmatics and Intercultural Communication

2020 – Session 1, Weekday attendance, North Ryde

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Jill Murray
Margaret Wood
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MAppLing or MAppLingTESOL or MTransInter or MAdvTransInterStud or MTransInterMAppLingTESOL or MIntPubDip or MAccComm
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit equips participants with the tools for analysis of how meaning is constructed in context through spoken and written language. The content includes speech act theory; politeness and face; the cooperative principle and implicature; relevance theory; cultural scripts; and metaphor. There is an emphasis on analysing how communication operates in different cultural contexts, and on accessing and interpreting current research. Communication in social and institutional contexts, language in the media, and practical implications for language learning and translating/interpreting are explored.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: 1. Identify examples of successful and unsuccessful cross-cultural communication and use pragmatic theories to explain the reasons
  • ULO2: 2 Analyse examples of authentic discourse using speech act theory, politeness theory and theories of implicature.
  • ULO3: 3. Make judgements about the types of analysis that are most suitable for researching particular types of discourse.
  • ULO4: 4. Evaluate current research in pragmatics in an area of personal or professional interest.
  • ULO5: 5. Reflect on how intercultural competence operates in your own personal and/or professional contexts
  • ULO6: 6. Apply theories of pragmatics in order to conduct research in an area of personal or professional interest.

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Assessment Information

Late assignments The policy regarding late assignments has now been standardised across postgraduate Linguistics units but there may be some minor differences in how they are applied, submission times etc. Please read this carefully and ask the convenor if you have any questions. 

For this unit: 

  • Assignments to be submitted through turnitin are due at 11.59pm Sydney time on the due date.  Late submissions without an extension will receive a penalty of 5% of the mark achieved for the assignment for each day after the due date. This will be calculated on a pro-rata basis for the first day, which means that if you have issues uploading your work and you submit shortly after the due time you may not be penalised at all.  From the second day onwards the full 5% will apply. 
  • Late submission of an assignment without an extension will not be permitted after marks have been released to the rest of the class.
  • Extensions will only be given in special circumstances, and can be requested by completing the Special Consideration request at ask.mq.edu.au and providing the requisite supporting documentation. The discretion of the convenor to grant extensions is limited. 
  • For more information on Special Consideration, see the university website https://students.mq.edu.au/study/my-study-program/special-consideration
  • Assignments submitted after the deadline, regardless of the reason, will be marked and returned at a date determined by the unit convenor.

Extensions cannot continue beyond the start of the following semester, and students should be aware that long extensions may impact graduation dates.

Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

This unit is delivered in blended mode. This means that both internal and external students are expected to work through the online materials. For the internal students, it will be clearly indicated on the ilearn site which tasks and readings should be completed before the face to face session, which after. Most of the activities are compulsory, but a small number are optional.These include some advanced tasks.

There is no set textbook for this unit  but the following resources texts are useful. 

Archer, D., Aijmer, K., & Wichmann, A. (2012). Pragmatics: An advanced resource book for students. London & New York: Routledge. ISBN:978-0415497879

Archer. D. and Grundy, P. (Eds) (2011). The pragmatics reader. London and NY: Routledge

Bowes, H. & Martin, K. (2007). Communication across cultures: Mutual understanding in a global world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Culpeper, J., and Haugh, M. (2014). Pragmatics and the English language. UK/US: Palgrave McMillan

Hua, Z.,  (Ed) (2011) The language and  intercultural communication reader. London and NY: Routledge

Reading material for this course consists of book chapters and some journal articles available through the library's course management system Leganto and other journal articles can be accessed directly through the library catalogue. Weekly reading lists will be available on the i-learn site, which you can access from the first day of the course. Reading guides and questions are provided for the key readings.  

The ilearn site has a range of resources, including course notes, tasks, online discussions, etc. 

Unit Schedule

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The unit schedule/topics and any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19. Please consult iLearn for latest details, and check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

Week Lecture Date Topic TASKS



26 Feb

Introduction to pragmatics.



4 Mar

Implicature and the co-operative theory



11 Mar

Speech act theory



18 Mar

Linguistic politeness



25 Mar

Applying  linguistic pragmatics to intercultural communication



1 Apr

Prosody and communication

Graded web task (5%)

 Tutorials for people who wish to do A2 Option 2: Obtaining ethics approval.  

Date to be arranged.


8 Apr

Conducting research in pragmatics



Complete all web activities up to week 7  (2.5%)

Assignment 1 - Text analysis due 20/4 (30%)  Deadline for preparing ethics application for Assignment 2 Option 2 Monday April 27. 


29 April

Review and extension: informational and interpersonal pragmatics

Tutorials for people who wish to do A2 Option 2: Final checking of ethics applications:date to be arranged (If you wish to do Option 2 you MUST attend these tutorials) 


6 May

Pragmatics and discourse



13 May 

Critical Discourse Analysis:  Pragmatics and power



20 May

Figurative language, metaphor and culture



27 May

Acquiring, teaching and learning pragmatic  competence



3 June

Review: Applications and directions.

 Assignment 2 - Research project due Monday 1/6 (60%) 

Complete all web activities up to week 13 (2.5%) 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/getting-started/student-conduct​


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Changes since First Published

Date Description
11/02/2020 Details of assessment have been added.