ENGL 118 Syllabus - 7 week - (SZagoran)

ENGL 118 Syllabus - 7 week - (SZagoran)

Intercultural Communication 7wk Course

Instructor: Dr. Sindhu Zagoren                

Email: szagoren@ccp.edu

Office: Main Campus B1-05

Office Hours: TBA



English 118 explores how culture broadly defines, influences, and challenges communication, introducing theory as well as developing student competence in communicating in groups comprised of people various in race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, social and economic status, sexual orientation, disability and religion. This course fulfills the American/Global Diversity requirement. 



After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe contemporary criteria for successful intercultural communication and the main elements of intercultural communication competence.
  • Identify essential aspects of culture that relate closely to communication, such as language and non-verbal communication, and provide examples of how these can differ from culture to culture.
  • Identify ways that subcultures/co-cultures communicate their identity.
  • Explain significant elements of the relationship between culture and communication and illustrate them.
  • Articulate their own cultural identity and explain how their cultural identity influences their perception and world view, and therefore how they interact and communicate with others, especially those whose cultures or subcultures differ from their own.
  • Demonstrate competence in communicating with people from a wide variety of groups based on race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, social and economic status, sexual orientation, disability and religion.
  • Explain various ways that culture and cultural differences can present barriers to communication, and explain or demonstrate strategies for overcoming those barriers.



Judith Martin and Thomas Nakayama, Experiencing Intercultural Communication, 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2018.



On-line Class Behavior

Intercultural communication by its definition means that we will be discussing issues of difference and power, especially as this pertains to social categories such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability. This means that we will engage issues and materials that we may find challenging to the ways that we perceive the world and our roles in it. This is part of the educational experience, and the course materials have been carefully selected to support and encourage this process. This class will also at times integrate our personal experiences and opinions, so it is imperative that everyone be respectful of others’ diverse perspectives. We need not all agree on every point, but the virtual classroom will remain at all times a tolerant and respectful space. Because we will be examining different social and political issues that have been and continue to be controversial, it is particularly important that you respect the rights of your peers to express their opinions, and be sensitive in your own responses. Think before you write.

Course Communication

All course communications should take place through Canvas. Technical help with Canvas is available via the Help tab on the left side of the Canvas screen, or by calling the Information Systems Help Desk at 215-496-6000.

Course communication is generally more formal than other kinds of online communication. All course communication, including email should meet certain standards. Use proper grammar and spelling - it is not acceptable to use “text speak” in an email to a professor or in a class discussion.

You may use the Canvas messaging system to email me throughout the course. These emails need to include a subject line, and should not be sent as a response to a class-wide communication. Include your name in the subject line so I know it is from you. Include a salutation, and sign your name at the end of your email. Do not send me emails with questions that can be answered by the syllabus. If you do this I will direct you to read the syllabus.

In general I will try to respond to your questions within 24 hours, however I do not answer emails during evenings or weekends. I will generally have assignments graded within a week of the due date.

Starfish Connect

Throughout the term, you may receive progress emails regarding your academic performance, generated through Starfish Connect. The emails are designed to be helpful and increase your success in this course. Be sure to open any emails you receive and follow the recommendations. I may also recommend that you contact a specific campus resource, such as the Learning Lab or Counseling Center. If I make a referral, you may also be contacted directly by this campus service as a follow-up. Starfish also allows you to see your student support network in one place. To access Starfish Connect, simply log into Canvas and click on the link, Starfish Connect. If you need assistance with Starfish Connect, you can email questions to starfishconnect@ccp.edu

Academic Honesty and Integrity (from the CCP Student Handbook)

Violations of academic integrity can include, but are not limited to, cheating and plagiarism. Cheating is an intentional effort at deception or gaining of an unfair advantage in completing academic work. Plagiarism is the act of appropriating the work of another person and passing it off as one’s own. Any student who assists another in an activity that constitutes a violation of academic integrity is also responsible and accountable for such a violation. Violating any of these rules is grounds for dismissal from the course.

Students with Disabilities

Students who believe they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact their instructors privately to discuss their accommodation letter and specific needs as soon as possible (preferably within the first week of class). If you need to request accommodations, but do not have an accommodation letter, please contact the Center on Disability (BG-39) at 215-751-8050



Graded Discussions  35
Response Paper                  10
Transcultural Project (Essay & Presentation)   20
Midterm Exam       15
Final Exam     20


Graded Discussions & Quizzes (35% of total grade)

Each week that we do not have a response paper, exam, or other project due, there will be a graded class discussion. This will include answering a prompt that I will provide, and then responding to at least two of your classmates’ responses.

  • Each graded discussion is evaluated on a 20 point scale (unless otherwise specified): 12 points for your discussion post, and 4 points for each response. However, accumulatively your discussion posts and quizzes are worth 35% of your total grade.
  • Your discussion posts should generally be a full paragraph (4-6 full grammatically correct sentences) unless otherwise indicated in the prompt
  • Your discussion responses to your classmates’ should be at least 2-3 full grammatically correct sentences

This is the primary way that we will communicate about course materials with each other, and it is an essential part of the online learning experience. It is therefore necessary that we respond to these discussions in a timely manner. Unless otherwise specified, your initial response to each discussion prompt is due by midnight Tuesday of the week in which they are assigned (each discussion has a due date incidcated), and your two responses are due by the end of the day midnight Thursday. You will not receive points for late discussion posts or responses. Discussion prompts will generally be made available the Friday before they are due, and discussion boards will be closed the Friday after. Note that there may be more than one graded discussion in a given week - see the course schedule for details.


Response Paper (10% of total grade)

This is a short essay responding to a screening you will watch early in the semester. You will respond to a prompt, which will be made available 1 week before the essay is due. This essay should be approximately 500 words (2 pages).

This paper should be uploaded onto Canvas as MS Word documents. It must be typed in a 12-point font and double-spaced. 

Late Response Papers will receive a 5% deduction for each day after the assigned due date. No assignments will be accepted more than one week late. Extensions may be granted if a student contacts me at least 48 hours before the due date and makes a reasonable case for why he/she needs more time.

Transcultural Presentation Project (20% of total grade)

This final project for this class involves you interviewing someone from another culture than your own, and analyzing this intercultural communication. Your choice of interviewee must be approved by me ahead of time. Your will turn in a paper of approximately 750 words (3-4 pages), which includes a discussion of, and reflection about, the intercultural experience in which you have participated. You will also make a presentation to the class about your interview project in the form of either a 5 minute video or a 5 slide PowerPoint slideshow. 

Exams (35% of total grade)

There will be two exams in this course – a midterm and final. The final exam will be cumulative but will focus much more heavily on the material studied after the midterm. There will be in-class review for both exams, and we will discuss the exam formats further at that time.


Your grades will be based on how well you demonstrate what you have learned in this class through your completed assignments and participation. The following is an explanation of grades you can earn in this class:

A (90 - 100) = Exceeds requirements of the assignment/course. The student critically, creatively, and fully engages the course material in a way that demonstrates that she/he understands and can apply the concepts. Written work is extremely well-composed and concise.

B (80 - 89) = Meets and, at times, exceeds the requirements of the assignment/course. In general, the student demonstrates a clear understanding of the course concepts. Written work is fairly well-composed but there may be some unclear or awkward moments.

C (70 - 79) = Meets the basic requirements of the assignment/course. The student demonstrates a minimum understanding of major concepts but may be unclear at times. Written work is acceptable but has errors and instances of ineffective communication.

D (60 - 69) = Fails to meet some of the basic requirements of the assignment/course. A minimum understanding of course concepts is not evident. Written work is somewhat poor.

F (0 - 59) = Does not meet the basic requirements of the assignments/course. A minimum understanding of the course concepts is not evident. Written work is very poor. 

Note on Appealing Grades

If at any point in the course you wish to discuss a grade on an assignment, you need to contact me through the Canvas messaging system as soon as possible. After the last day of class, if you wish to appeal your final grade, you must make an appointment with your advisor, or the English Department Chair. I will only discuss final grades in a formal meeting with a CCP advisor or department chair present.

Withdrawal Policy

The last date to withdraw from your courses is 4/10/18. Though you won’t earn an F if you withdraw, before you decide to withdraw from this course or any other course, think about the following information:

  • The W will be reflected on your transcript permanently.
  • Ws on transcripts may have a negative impact on acceptance into select programs.
  • Transfer institutions may viewWs negatively, and it may go against your application.
  • Your financial aid may be impacted.

Please discuss your options with your instructor or an advisor/counselor before you decide to withdraw from a course.


Note: Readings & screenings for each week are indicated in the individual Unit descriptions

Wk 1: Course Introduction (5/14-5/17)

  • Canvas Modules:
    • Unit 1: Course Introduction
    • Unit 2: Immigration and Nationality
  • Graded Assignments:
    • Unit 1 Quiz: Know Our Syllabus due 5/17
    • Unit 1 Discussion: Story of a Name due 5/17

Wk 2: The Foundations of Intercultural Communication (5/21-5/24)

  • Canvas Modules:
    • Unit 3: Studying Intercultural Communication
    • Unit 4: Foundations of Intercultural Communication  
  • Graded Assignments:
    • Unit 3 Discussion: Intercultural Communication and Ethics – initial posts due 5/22; peer responses due 5/24
    • Response Paper due 5/24

Wk 3: History and Identity (5/28-5/31)

  • Canvas Modules:
    • Unit 5: History and Intercultural Communication
    • Unit 6: Identity and Intercultural Communication  
  • Graded Assignments:
    • Unit 6 Discussion: Feedback on Skin Deep initial posts due 5/29; peer responses due 5/31

Wk 4: Midterm Exam (6/4-6/7)

  • Canvas Modules:
    • Unit 7: Midterm Exam
  • Graded Assignments
    • Midterm Exam due 6/7

Wk 5: Verbal and Nonverbal Issues in Intercultural Communication (6/11-6/14)

  • Canvas Modules:
    • Unit 8: Verbal Issues in Intercultural Communication
    • Unit 9: Nonverbal Issues in Intercultural Communication
  • Graded Assignments:
    • Unit 8 Discussion: Code Switching initial posts due 6/12; peer responses due 6/14
    • Transcultural Project Workshop initial proposals due 6/12; peer responses due 6/14

Wk 6: (6/18-6/21): Intercultural Conflict & Relationships

  • Canvas Modules:
    • Unit 10: Culture, Communication, and Conflict
    • Unit 11: Intercultural Relationships
  • Graded Assignments:
    • Unit 10 Extra Credit Discussion: Due 6/21
    • Unit 11 Discussion: Describe an Intercultural Relationship initial posts due 6/19; peer responses due 6/21

Wk 7: Transcultural Presentations (6/25-6/26)

  • Canvas Modules:
    • Unit 12: Transcultural Presentations
  • Graded Assignments:
    • Transcultural Essays & Presentations due 6/26

Final Exam: Available 6/26 12am; Due 6/28 11:59pm


Course Summary:

Date Details Due