Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 5
Hours: 5 lecture per week (60 total per quarter)
Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249; not open to students with credit in SPCH 12.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area VI: United States Cultures & Communities, Area VII: Lifelong Learning
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will be able to practice critical thinking skills examining the human intercultural experience.
  • A successful student will improve individual communication skills within and among multicultural groups.
  • A successful student will develop skills in identifying and interpreting a variety of nonverbal communication patterns across different cultures.


A comparative and integrative study of intercultural communication in American society. Analysis of cultural histories, cultural concepts, language, ethnic perspectives, perceptions, symbols and roles as they facilitate or hinder effective verbal and nonverbal interaction across cultural lines. Examination of cultural identities which influence thinking and behavior, such as race, class, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, age, appearance and physical ability.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Identify the basic concepts of communication theory.
  2. Examine cultural, sociological, and psychological influences on intercultural communication.
  3. Analyze verbal and nonverbal dimensions of intercultural communication.
  4. Analyze the barriers to effective intercultural communication relative to intercultural differences.
  5. Examine messages through nonverbal communication signals in appropriate cultural code.

Course Content

  1. Communication theory
    1. Elements of communication situation
    2. Characteristics of interpersonal communication
      1. Principles of communication
      2. Communication contexts
  2. Intercultural communication—definitions
  3. Cultural influences on intercultural communication
    1. Dimensions of cultural variability
    2. Cultural values
    3. Norms and rules
  4. Sociological influences on intercultural communication
    1. Memberships
    2. Self-concepts
    3. Inter-group and interpersonal communication
    4. Role and interpersonal relationships
  5. Psychocultural influences on intercultural communication
    1. Expectations, stereotypes, and attitudes
    2. Changing expectations, reducing uncertainty and anxiety
  6. Verbal dimensions of intercultural communication
    1. Style
    2. Structure
    3. Content
  7. Intercultural and interracial conflict
    1. Contextual sources
    2. Conflict styles
  8. Race and ethnicity in mass media
    1. Representations of the racialized other
    2. Implications and consequences of media images

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. When taught on campus: video camera, television, DVD, VHS recorder, projector, computer with internet connection; for online work, access to a computer with email and internet capability.
2. When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with email software and capabilities; email address; JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Quizzes and/or midterm and final examination
Oral speech presentations, when taught in person
Written outline for presentations, when taught in person
Analytical papers/research project
Online class discussions, when taught online

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Cooperative learning exercises
Field work
Oral presentations
Electronic discussions/chat
Independent study
Community service
Field trips

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Martin, J., and T. Nakayama. Experiencing Intercultural Communication: An Introduction, 7th ed.. 2022.

Jandt, Fred E.. An Introduction to Intercultural Communication: Identities in a Global Community, 10th ed.. 2020.

Sorrells, Kathryn. Intercultural Communication: Globalization and Social Justice, 3rd ed.. 2021.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Weekly reading assignments from text and outside sources, ranging from 30-60 pages per week
  2. Weekly lecture/discussion covering subject matter from text assignment with extended topic information and examination of popular culture. Class discussion is required
  3. Writing assignments: short analytical papers and one research project
  4. Exercises, demonstrations, and presentations: Exercises may include individual or group participation and covers assigned reading, lecture topics and group projects
  5. When taught online these methods may take the form of online interaction, video, audio, animation and webpage presentations


Communication Studies