MA International Education (Curriculum and Pedagogy)

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Intercultural Communication in Education

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC70621
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course unit will introduce the following content areas:

  • The key concepts, theories and philosophies of intercultural thinking;
  • Latest and original intercultural studies, including: critical approaches to understanding intercultural       experience, intercultural personhood development, mindfulness for intercultural communication, and intercultural ethics;

The issues in intercultural knowledge-work, including (but not limited to): epistemic injustice, language as a carrier of power and violence, curriculum internationalisation, and knowledge democracy


  • To develop students' intercultural competence by:
  • exploring a critical intercultural understanding in and for education;
  • developing an awareness of intercultural ethics and the issue of epistemic injustice in the knowledge-work (e.g. teaching, learning and research) of education.

Teaching and learning methods

12 x 2 hours interactive teaching and learning sessions including:

1 hour lecture

1 hour activities

The weekly topics ranges from micro- to macro- levels of intercultural discussions incorporating the latest intercultural research/debates and the original research from the course leader. Both lecture and individual/group activities are provided in each session in order to support students’ engagement, learning, and development. A flipped classroom approach is also adopted with assigned readings, videos, and/or individual and group activities on Blackboard before class.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the key concepts, theories and philosophies of intercultural thinking in education
  • Discuss the latest debates and approaches in intercultural studies
  •  Explain and analyse key issues and assumptions in intercultural  education
  • Applycritical intercultural ethics to guide intercultural education and research
  • Construct critical intercultural arguments as situated in specific international, local, intercultural contexts

Intellectual skills

  • Develop intercultural competence as an important dimension of global citizenship education in and for international education
  • Practise critical thinking skills for conceptualising and analysing intercultural topics and make critical judgements on intercultural issues
  • Reflect on intercultural experience and intercultural knowledge-work
  • Use a critical intercultural thinking to make reasoned arguments for a practical intercultural topic

Practical skills

  • Communicate and work with people from diverse cultural backgrounds by applying a critical intercultural thinking and ethics
  • Conduct research to identify relevant literature appropriate to classroom activities and assessment
  • Interpret practical intercultural debates with a critical intercultural perspective

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Develop intercultural competence for thinking, learning and working in the increasing interconnected world
  • Develop independent skills to select and synthesise materials from various sources and to critical evaluate its significance and relevance
  • Collaborate with others in group tasks as a team and recognise and work constructively with other’s views
  • Plan and manage tasks in a professional environment within a required timeline
  • Make oral presentations by using appropriate media for the target audience
  • Use appropriate digital technologies to support and improve individual and group learning

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Project output (not diss/n) 100%

Feedback methods

Online via Blackboard

Recommended reading


Al-Issa, A., & Dahan, L. S. (2011). Global English and endangered Arabic in the United Arab Emirates. Global English and Arabic: Issues of language, culture, and identity, 31, 1-22.

Deardorff, D. K. (Ed.). (2009). The SAGE handbook of intercultural competence. London: Sage.

Fricker, M. (2007). Epistemic injustice: Power and the ethics of knowing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Green, W., & Whitsed, C. (Eds.). (2015). Critical perspectives on internationalising the curriculum in disciplines: Reflective narrative accounts from business, education and health. New York: Springer.

Heleta, S. (2016). Decolonisation of higher education: Dismantling epistemic violence and Eurocentrism in South Africa. Transformation in Higher Education, 1(1), 1-8.

Holliday, A. (2006). Native-speakerism. ELT journal, 60(4), 385-387.

Holliday, A. (2018). Understanding intercultural communication: Negotiating a grammar of culture. London: Routledge.

Huang, Z. M. (2019). Learning from the ‘right’ ground of mindfulness: some insights for the ‘good’ interculturalist. Language and Intercultural Communication, 1-12.

Kim, Y. Y. (2008). Intercultural personhood: Globalization and a way of being. International journal of intercultural relations, 32(4), 359-368.

Mignolo, W. D. (2011). Geopolitics of sensing and knowing: On (de)co

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Tutorials 2
Independent study hours
Independent study 56

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Zhuomin Huang Unit coordinator

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