Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2021
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 2.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area V: Communication & Analytical Thinking, 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 identify patterns in interpersonal relationships.
  • A successful student will be able to utilize appropriate communication patterns in interpersonal communication situations.


Experience in interpersonal communication, including discussion, the perception process, critical thinking and reasoning, verbal and nonverbal modes of communication, intercultural communication, and the effect of communication on individuals and society. Faculty and peer feedback on critically evaluated exercises.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. understand the principles of interpersonal communication.
B. identify the origins of self-concept and its impact on communication.
C. describe the human perception process, barriers to accurate perceptions, and effective processing of perceptions in interpersonal communication.
D. become aware of the nature of emotions, barriers to effective expression of emotions, and guidelines for effectively managing emotions.
E. demonstrate critical thinking by analyzing the nature of language and its influence on gender and culture.
F. know and practice various types of nonverbal communication.
G. demonstrate the listening process, obstacles to good listening, and ways to improve listening through critical and active listening.
H. know and discuss theories on the development and maintenance of relationships, stages of relationships, and how self-disclosure affects relationships.
I. become aware of the importance and nature of intercultural communication, how cultural variables influence communication.
J. compare and contrast how confirming or disconfirming behaviors lead to communication climate.
K. identify the nature of conflict, productive and unproductive styles of conflict, and methods of conflict resolution.

Course Content

A. The nature of interpersonal communication
1. Process and principles of communication
2. Communication competence
B. Communication and the self
1. Origin of self-concept
2. Development of self-concept
3. Self-awareness
4. Improving self-concept
C. Perception and communication
1. The process of human perception
2. Influences on perception
3. Increasing accuracy of perception
D. Communication and emotions
1. The nature of emotions
2. Influences on expression of emotions
3. Managing and express emotions effectively
E. Verbal communication
1. The symbolic nature of language
2. The uses and abuses of language
3. Culture, gender and language
F. Nonverbal communication
1. Principles of nonverbal communication
2. Types of nonverbal communication
3. Using nonverbal communication effectively
G. Listening
1. The listening process
2. Obstacles to effective listening
3. Guidelines for effective listening
H. Communication in relationships
1. The development and maintenance of relationships
2. Stages of relationships
3. Improving relationships through self-disclosure
I. Interpersonal communication and culture
1. Obstacles to intercultural communication
2. High and low context communication
3. Individualism and collectivism
4. Improving intercultural communication
J. Communication climates
1. Confirming and disconfirming climates
2. Defensiveness
3. Preventing defensiveness in others and responding non-defensively
K. Conflict
1. The nature of conflict
2. Conflict styles
3. Increasing assertiveness
4. Methods of conflict resolution

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with email software and capabilities; email address; JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software.
B. When taught on-campus: on-going access to computer with email software and capabilities; email address, JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Midterm and final examination
Oral speech presentations
Four written assignments covering a breadth of interpersonal communication topics and requiring critical analysis
Class participation
Faculty supervised and critically evaluated exercises

Method(s) of Instruction

Lecture, discussion and cooperative learning exercises on interpersonal communication theories
Oral presentations on interpersonal communication theories and practices
Electronic discussions/chat on modes of relationship development
Feedback on tests and assignments delivered via email and/or internet; class discussion may be delivered in chat rooms, listservs, and newsgroups

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Adler, Ronald B., and Lawrence B. Rosenfeld. Interplay: The Process of Interpersonal Communication, 14th ed.. 2017.

Wood, Julia. Interpersonal Communication Everyday Encounters, 9th ed.. 2019.

When taught via Foothill Global Access: supplemental lectures, handouts, tests, and assignments delivered via email and/or internet.

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

A. Cooperative learning/electronic discussion
B. Review of handouts and relevant reading material
C. Research and planning of oral presentations
D. Reading and study of the textbook: one or more topic per week
E. Written exercises and essays in relation to topics in text, for example:
1. Consider Hofstede's Dimensions of Cultural Variability in the section on Cross-Cultural Communication. In general is the United States more individualistic or collectivistic? Cite two research studies which support your answer.


Communication Studies