nl en

Communication and Culture


Admission requirements

Admission requirements and any restrictions.
This course is open to students in the second-year of the BA Linguistics, Language and Communication track.


In today’s globalized world, we all communicate increasingly with people from backgrounds different than our own -- both online and offline. What are the pitfalls of communicating across cultures? What are the advantages? What difference does the mode of communication make? This course deals with these questions from a cross-cultural pragmatics perspective as well as by looking at case studies of communicating across cultures in different professional contexts (education, healthcare, business etc.). By studying how communication works in different cultures and across cultures, the goal is to to gain a better understanding of how (and why) we all come to understand (or misunderstand) each other on a daily basis and of the micro- and macro-social parameters involved in this process.

Course objectives

Concise description of the course objectives formulated in terms of knowledge, insight and skills students will have acquired at the end of the course. The relationship between these objectives and achievement levels for the programme should be evident.
This course will provide students with:

  • Insight into the role of culture in shaping communication

  • The ability to critically think about the main concepts in pragmatics and their adequacy to describe communication in different cultural contexts and situations

  • Ability to analyse concrete instances of language use from different media in terms of the theoretical concepts discussed.


Linguistics (BA)

Mode of instruction

Lecture and tutorials.

Course Load

  • Lectures: 12 x 2h = 26 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 70 hours

  • Assignment(s): 40 hours

  • Tutorials: 12 hours

Assessment method

Participation, assignments, presentation, paper.


Tutorial attendance and participation 20%
Group presentation 20%
Group paper 60%

The presentation and paper are prepared in pairs (i.e. two students). Students receive a (presentation and paper) mark as a group, not individually. No resit is available for participation and presentation; no resit is available for a passing paper grade. In case of a failing paper grade, the resit paper is due 10 working days after publication of the grade.


As above.


As above.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Course syllabus and all communication regarding the course

  • Making available pdfs of selected readings

Reading list

Readings will be announced on Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on this website



Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats

E-mail address Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats:

Coordinator of Studies


Weekly lectures (hoorcollege) for this course take place in the Hague (Wijnhaven) on Mondays from 11.00-13.00. In addition, there are six tutorials (werkcollege). These happen in Leiden. For the schedule, see Blackboard.

Only the lectures are shared with the BA International Studies course “Communicating across cultures”. That course has a different structure (including exams), a separate catalogue number and separate Blackboard website. BA Linguistics students should register for the course “Communication and Culture” only. If in doubt, contact the instructor, dr. Maaike van Naerssen.