Students

APPL8110 – Pragmatics and Intercultural Communication

2021 – Session 1, Fully online/virtual

Notice

As part of Phase 3 of our return to campus plan, most units will now run tutorials, seminars and other small group activities on campus, and most will keep an online version available to those students unable to return or those who choose to continue their studies online.

To check the availability of face-to-face and online activities for your unit, please go to timetable viewer. To check detailed information on unit assessments visit your unit's iLearn space or consult your unit convenor.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Lecturer and Unit convenor
Loy Lising
Administrator
Margaret Wood
Credit points Credit points
10
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.

General Assessment Information

How to apply for a late submission of an assignment

  • Late submissions without approved extension will receive a penalty of 5% of the total mark available for the assessment task per day including weekends.
  • Work without approved extension that is submitted after marked assessment tasks have been released will not be marked at all and will automatically be assigned a 0.
  • Extensions will only be given in special circumstances and can be requested by completing the Special Consideration application @ ask.mq.edu.au and by providing the requisite supporting documentation. For more details, please review the policy here.
  • Extensions that will result in submission after the assessment task has been returned to the class will require a separate assessment task to be completed at the unit convenor's discretion.
  • Extensions cannot continue beyond the start of the following semester, and students should be aware that long extensions may impact graduation dates.
  • If a student fails the unit due to non-submission of an assessment task, an FA grade will be applied in accordance with the University's Assessment Policy. 
  • Unit convenors have the discretion to determine whether or not students should fail a unit on the basis of lateness penalties alone if other learning outcomes of the unit have been met.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Web discussions 10% No Week 6 & Week 12
Text analysis 30% No Week 7
Research project 60% No Week 14

Web discussions

Assessment Type 1: Participatory task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 10 hours
Due: Week 6 & Week 12
Weighting: 10%

WEB DISCUSSION PARTICIPATION Graded web task This task involves considering an issue/problem/experience related to communication in your own life. How do you think this issue/problem/experience might be addressed, illuminated or dealt with by one (or more) of the pragmatics concepts which have been considered so far in this unit?

Your peers will provide feedback on this task, based on: how well the relevant issue is identified and described; how well your discussion of the issue is related to the theory. the clarity of your writing and referencing.

You are also required to provide feedback to at least one other student.

For the remaining 5 marks in the this section, participation in the other forums is required.


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • 1. Identify examples of successful and unsuccessful cross-cultural communication and use pragmatic theories to explain the reasons
  • 4. Evaluate current research in pragmatics in an area of personal or professional interest.

Text analysis

Assessment Type 1: Case study/analysis
Indicative Time on Task 2: 20 hours
Due: Week 7
Weighting: 30%

Analysis of transcript, plus commentary.

You will be given a transcribed spoken text to analyse, applying what you have learnt about the elements of context, implicature, speech act theory and politeness theory.

The assignment will be assessed in relation to the following criteria

Accuracy of identification of the features of context that must be understood in order to understand the speakers’ meanings in the text. Accuracy of analysis using the tools from each of the three areas of pragmatics covered in the course. Statement and justification of conclusions drawn: clarity of argument and relationship to results of analysis.

This takes the form of a quiz with a 600 word commentary section at the end. The total word limit is 2000 words.


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • 1. Identify examples of successful and unsuccessful cross-cultural communication and use pragmatic theories to explain the reasons
  • 2 Analyse examples of authentic discourse using speech act theory, politeness theory and theories of implicature.

Research project

Assessment Type 1: Report
Indicative Time on Task 2: 40 hours
Due: Week 14
Weighting: 60%

1. Perform a pragmatic investigation involving an encounter which is in some way interesting or problematic. If you choose spoken data, it may be from a film; internet, radio, or television broadcast or other suitable public source. If you choose written data, it will usually consist of texts which are available in the public domain. This assignment will allow you to demonstrate your understanding of how pragmatics can be applied to explain the reasons and effects of the language choices made by the speakers or writers. OR 2. A pragmatic investigation on a topic of your choice involving the collection of data. [a] Choose one aspect of pragmatics which you think may be interesting to examine. Thoroughly review the published literature and design a task through which you will be able to gather data on performance of the task by people from different cultural backgrounds, and complete an ethics amendment form to submit for approval. Recruit participants, and gather and analyse data. Explore the implications of your findings.

[b] Alternatively, you may undertake a research project using a corpus such as the BNC, or COCA, to be decided in consultation with the convenor.

The word limit for this assignment (4000 words) does not include displayed data, any appendices and references.


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • 3. Make judgements about the types of analysis that are most suitable for researching particular types of discourse.
  • 4. Evaluate current research in pragmatics in an area of personal or professional interest.
  • 5. Reflect on how intercultural competence operates in your own personal and/or professional contexts
  • 6. Apply theories of pragmatics in order to conduct research in an area of personal or professional interest.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Learning Skills Unit for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

SEMINAR SCHEDULE

The unit is taught in 13 weeks of 2 hours of seminar on Tuesdays from 4.00 to 6.00 pm in 25 Wally's Walk room A208.

Special Circumstances are applied to this unit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which means you are welcome to attend this unit remotely until such time this arrangement changes. Prior to the scheduled seminar meeting, students are expected to have read the assigned chapter and/or journal article.

This unit is delivered in blended mode, which means that both internal and external students are expected to work through the online materials. Specific readings and activities need to be done prior to the Tuesday meeting. These will be clearly outlined in the Weekly Plan folder.

iLearn

Full details of the reading list and the assessment tasks are available in the unit’s iLearn site. You are expected to familiarise yourself with the site and access the resources available to you for this unit. There are 2 folders, in particular, that you need to regularly access: Weekly Plan and Assessment Tasks.

READINGS

There is a set textbook for this unit.

Piller, I. (2017). Intercultural Communication: A Critical Introduction (Second Edition). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Additional readings are also set for each week, and these are available in Leganto. These are also outlined in the Weekly Plan. It is important that you read the assigned reading(s) for each week to be able to participate well in the discussions.

Unit Schedule

The unit covers 4 main topics: introduction to pragmatics, introduction to specific pragmatic theories, introduction to intercultural communication, and their application to various contexts. The 13 weeks in S1 are organised so that by the end of the semester you would have a fundamental understanding of the main concepts of pragmatics and intercultural communication, and how they intersect in specific contexts.

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/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

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
17/02/2021 The schedule of delivery was wrong. This has been corrected.