Cross-Cultural Communication

no certificate
- OR -
with CEU Certificate*
Start Right Now!
Taking multiple courses? Save with our platinum program.
  • 8
  • 13
    Exams &
  • 1,387
    have taken this course
  • 7
    average time
  • 0.7

Course Description

Today's world of globalization and technological advancements emphasizes the importance of quality interpersonal communication. Intercultural communication skills are becoming perhaps more important than ever before in this time of an increasingly diverse workforce and extensive travel for business and leisure. Myriad considerations coalesce to result in improved interpersonal communication skills.

This course, Fundamentals of Cross-Cultural Communication, addresses each of those areas that require awareness and mindfulness in intercultural interactions. Solidly grounded in cutting edge academic research, we begin with a background of intercultural communication, which includes definitions of and reasons for intercultural communication. We then move to an exploration of culture-based values that undergird and play a significant role in all intercultural interactions. From there, this course moves to examine barriers to successful intercultural communication, including culture shock and lack of awareness of verbal communication tendencies and styles. Nonverbal communication also plays a key role in developing intercultural communication flexibility, and is discussed in turn. A discussion of challenges in intercultural communication aims to highlight ways to improve communication across cultures; in understanding the obstacles, the way to quality communication is cleared. Conflict and dispute resolution is also a key component of intercultural communication, and is therefore also covered in this course. The idea of a global identity and communicating with cross-cultural audiences follows the conflict lesson. The course closes with considerations of intercultural ethics, and strategies for resolving ethical dilemmas within cross-cultural contexts.

Packed with useful information, knowledge, considerations and insights, this course provides students the tools they need to improve their intercultural communication flexibility and skills, permitting them to gain more success in – and indeed more pleasure from – their intercultural encounters.

Intercultural communication flexibility is the management of cultural differences adaptively and creatively within many types of situations. Our attitudes and expectations are often shaped by underlying cultural values. Our perception of and approach to communication issues within work teams likely vary across cultures, ethnicities, situations, and individuals. For example, members of some cultural groups (for example, German and Swiss) prefer to address an issue head on, believing that directness and assertiveness spark new ideas. Other cultural groups (for example, Chinese and Korean) may prefer to address issues indirectly and tactfully, in efforts to facilitate more harmonious communication processes.

Reasons to study intercultural communication

Rapid changes in global economics, technology, immigration policies, and transportation have meant that the world seems to be becoming increasingly smaller. Our connections to our foreign neighbors are clearer than ever before. We find increased contact with those of different cultures. In the work place, people of different cultures bring with them different work habits and cultural practices, approaching problem solving tasks differently. Individuals may also have different desires for communication outcomes and emphases within their intercultural encounters.

The study of intercultural communication is the study of communication involving cultural group differences. This study helps students acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to manage intercultural differences appropriately and effectively. It also includes developing an ability to view things from different angles, absent rigid prejudgment. Indeed, there are many practical reasons to study intercultural communication. We will discuss several of those reasons here.

First on the list of reasons to study intercultural communication is global workforce heterogeneity. That is, many companies have a global presence. The top five most valuable global brands in terms of dollar value are Coca-Cola, IBM, Microsoft, Google, and GE (General Electric). Other companies such as Starbucks and McDonald's also have significant presence abroad. Most of these companies are managed and operated from U.S. soil, and many U.S. workers currently work in overseas locations. However, approximately 10-20 percent of U.S. workers working overseas fail in their global assignments (They return prematurely.), with the highest failure rates associated with work in developing nations. Most U.S. international employers may be considered technically competent, but they may also lack effective, adaptive intercultural communication skills that enable them to communicate appropriately and effectively in the new culture.

Secondly, the domestic workplace is increasingly diverse, making cultural diversity a critical part of our everyday lives. The Latino/a population is expected to increase from 16 to 30-percent by 2050, and the Asian American population will grow from 4.5 to 9 percent. The non-Hispanic Caucasian population will decline from 65% to 46% nationally. The 2010 U.S. Census revealed that 12-percent of the population is foreign born nationals, and another 11-percent is native born with at least one foreign born parent. Of those foreign born, more than half emigrated from Latin America, with almost a third coming from Mexico. These figures indicate that in the marketplace, the influence of multicultural and diverse customers is expanding across the board.

Additionally, knowing something about intercultural communication helps us to engage in creative multicultural problem solving strategies. Accepting and considering alternative viewpoints helps us move mindfully away from traditional binary (either/or) thinking and expand our diversity of options in managing intercultural team problems. In fact, a significant amount of creativity research demonstrates that we learn more from those who are different from us than we learn from those who are similar. Research on small groups indicates that better decisions are reached through more diverse decision making teams.

Further, technology is speeding up our identities as global citizens. We can now easily connect with individuals from around the world within a few seconds, and at a very low cost.

The fifth reason that developing quality intercultural communication skills matters is facilitating better multicultural health care communications. Borders continue to merge and divide, and increasingly immigrants and multicultural citizens require health care in their host countries. Many of these people have high expectations that their health care practitioners will respect their personal beliefs and health care practices; however, this is not always the case.Different beliefs and traditions surround the concept of death as well, which can make an already difficult time more challenging.

Global peacemaking is another reason to know something about intercultural communication.Citizens of many nations are rising up to demand better lives for themselves and their families by way of citizenship rights, democracy, and freedom. The terrorist attack on U.S. soil in 2001 prompted many individuals to recognize the important role of competent intercultural communication. Peace studies are forging new ground in university curricula, offering major and minor degrees on many campuses.

Finally, improved intercultural communication skills can help deepen self-awareness and other-awareness. For the most part, our cultural beliefs, values, and communication norms are acquired unconsciously. Without a basis for comparison, we may never question the way we have been conditioned and socialized. This can encourage the development of ethnocentrism, which means seeing our own culture as the center of the universe and seeing other cultures as insignificant or perhaps inferior. Groups, organizations, communities, and societies develop differences from each other. "Without interaction with outsiders, differences become difficult to understand and difficult not to judge. What is comfortable becomes right.What we do not understand becomes less than right to us." When we lack quality comparative cross-cultural knowledge, we may tend to view the world through only one lens.  However, that lens can be expanded to understand possible value differences and similarities between your own and other cultures through intercultural communication awareness. Our awareness of who we are can deepen through intercultural knowledge.

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
  • Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

    Course Lessons

    Average Lesson Rating:
    4.4 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
    "Extraordinarily Helpful"
    (655 votes)

    Lesson 1. Definitions

    Intercultural communication flexibility is the management of cultural differences adaptively and creatively within many types of situations. 11 Total Points
    • Lesson 1 Video
    • Take Survey: Reasons for Taking this Course
    • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
    • Complete: Lesson 1 Exam

    Lesson 2. Cultural Values

    Cultural values and beliefs serve as anchors to which we attach meaning and significance of our complex identities. 12 Total Points
    • Lesson 2 Video
    • Review Article: What are Cultural Values
    • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
    • Complete: Lesson 2 Exam

    Lesson 3. Cultural Barriers

    When communicating across cultures, we tend to confront some cultural barriers. 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 3 Video
    • Review Article: Cultural Communication Barriers in the Workplace
    • Complete: Lesson 3 Exam

    Lesson 4. Nonverbal Communication Plus Culture

    Occurring with or without verbal communication, nonverbal cues provide the context for interpreting and understanding how the verbal message should be interpreted. 12 Total Points
    • Lesson 4 Video
    • Review 2 Articles: How do culturally different people interpret nonverbal communication?; Project Communication Tips: Nonverbal Communication in Different Cultures
    • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
    • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam

    Lesson 5. Challenges in Intercultural Communication

    This lesson focuses on developing a greater understanding of biases we tend to hold against out-groups, to lay a foundation for improving our own intercultural communication. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 5 Video
    • Review Article: Working on Common Cross-cultural Communication Challenges
    • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
    • Complete: Lesson 5 Exam

    Lesson 6. Managing Conflict Flexibly

    This lesson begins with an exploration of background components that influence intercultural conflict escalation. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 6 Video
    • Review Article: Cross Cultural Awareness May Aide Your Conflict Resolution Efforts
    • Complete: Lesson 6 Exam

    Lesson 7. Global Identity. Communicating with a Cross-Cultural Audience

    The language of the Internet is largely English, and through communication in English, global connections are forged and maintained. 5 Total Points
    • Lesson 7 Video
    • Review Article: What to Know When You're Speaking to an International Audience
    • Complete: Lesson 7 Exam

    Lesson 8. Becoming Ethical Intercultural Communicators.

    In problem recognition, we learn to frame the situation through lenses of both our home culture and those of the other culture involved. 49 Total Points
    • Lesson 8 Video
    • Review Article: Ethics in intercultural communication
    • Take Poll: Let us know what you think of this course
    • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
    • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam
    • Complete: Final Exam
    Total Course Points

    Learning Outcomes

    By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
    • Define what cross-cultural communication is.
    • Identify cultural values.
    • Recognize cultural barriers.
    • Describe nonverbal communication plus culture.
    • Summarize challenges in intercultural communication.
    • Describe processes for managing conflict flexibly, and
    • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

    Additional Course Information

    Online CEU Certificate
    • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
    • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
    • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
    • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
    • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
    Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
    Course Title: Cross-Cultural Communication
    Course Number: 8900241
    Course Requirements: View Course Requirements
    Lessons Rating: 4.4 / 5 Stars (655 votes)
    Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
    Course Type: General Education (Self-Paced, Online Class)
    CEU Value: 0.7 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
    CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
    Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
    Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
    Course Author: Dr. Michele Poff
    Instructor: Linda Zavadil
    Syllabus: View Syllabus
    Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
    Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $75.00

    Choose Your Subscription Plan

    Course Only
    One Course
    No Certificate / No CEUs
    for 6 months
    Billed once
    This course only
    Includes certificate X
    Includes CEUs X
    Self-paced Yes
    Instructor support Yes
    Time to complete 6 months
    No. of courses 1 course
    Certificate Course
    One Course
    Certificate & CEUs
    for 6 months
    Billed once
    This course only
    Includes certificate Yes
    Includes CEUs Yes
    Self-paced Yes
    Instructor support Yes
    Time to complete 6 months
    No. of courses 1 course
    Platinum Yearly
    Best Value
    Certificates & CEUs
    per year
    Billed once
    Includes all 500+ courses
    Includes certificate Yes
    Includes CEUs Yes
    Self-paced Yes
    Instructor support Yes
    Time to complete 12 Months
    No. of courses 500+
    Platinum Monthly
    Certificates & CEUs
    $69 first month
    $29.00 / each consecutive month thereafter
    Billed monthly
    Includes all 500+ courses
    Includes certificate Yes
    Includes CEUs Yes
    Self-paced Yes
    Instructor support Yes
    Time to complete Monthly
    No. of courses 500+

    Related Courses