ING3 Required English Course
Much ado about nothing: Finding yourself in New Places
Students who find themselves studying or working in new places typically
describe a time of personal, academic and inter-cultural growth. This course is
designed to help students develop both the linguistic and cultural skills that will
enable them to reap the benefits of their time abroad. In addition, they will learn
effective ways of using social media to build up a professional online image.
Alongside the development of these practical skills, students will study culture
shock and intercultural perspectives in the media through reading, group
research and discussion.
Improve their language skills and prepare for their time abroad
Develop their professional competence by improving and honing skills,
such as CV and cover letter writing, and participate in a “job fair”
Study the advantages and possible hazards of using social networking
sites, and create a professional online image
Gain cross-cultural awareness and explore intercultural perspectives
Learn strategies to cope with culture shock
Weeks 1 – 2: Job Hunting
In class: course overview and introduction to the Communication Centre.
Grammar review to help students determine any structures that they
need to revise.
Online assignment: post a link to another online platform, comment on it
and on each other’s posts.
In class: Personal qualities – pairwork exercise and comparison.
Introduction to the Myers Briggs test.
Online assignments: students take the Myers Briggs test, post their results
and react to each other’s findings.
In class: discuss the test and evaluate the career choices that are
In class: discuss ways of looking for jobs and creating a professional
online image. Evaluate different types of CVs.
Online assignment: post an example of a CV or a video of how to write a
CV, and rate it. Students comment on each other’s posts.
In class: discuss employer’s expectations of “hard” and “soft” skills.
Weeks 3 – 4: Social Media in the Workplace
In class: the benefits and possible pitfalls of social networking - how
students can prepare for a global marketplace.
Introduction to different types of successful cover letters.
Online assignment: develop a digital identity: create your own LinkedIn
Written assignment: CV and cover letter
In class: in pairs, create job advertisements for a job fair.
Online assignment: post job adverts.
In class: job fair to practise interview skills using the job adverts.
In class: studying interview techniques and persuasive communication
strategies. How can students sell themselves effectively.
Watch and discuss a presentation skills video, such as Dragon’s Den.
Weeks 4 – 5: Preparing to Study Abroad
Weeks 4 – 9: In class oral assignments: Individual presentations designed to
project a positive image that will “sell” themselves to a potential employer.
Students can use tools, such as Slideshare or Prezi.
In class: Why study abroad? Discussion about the advantages and
possible pitfalls of studying abroad.
In class: discussion: how will your study abroad differentiate you?
Reading: how an international education can prepare students for a
globalized job market.
Watch and analyze short excerpts from “The Spanish Apartment” and
“The Wedding Banquet”.
In groups, students prepare and act out similar scenes.
Online assignment: in groups, students create short animated videos
using xtranormal, on the subject of studying abroad. Students rate each
In class: show the videos and discuss.
Weeks 6 – 7: The French Image at Home and Abroad
In class: focusing on French culture: how do the students evaluate their
own culture? How are France and the French seen from an international
perspective? Students complete a cultural self-assessment questionnaire.
In class: listen to and discuss David Sedaris’ broadcast “The Paris Metro”.
Online assignment: choose and post an article about French cultural
identity suitable for class debate. Students comment on and discuss each
In class: evaluation of the students’ articles. Debate using one or more of
the posted articles.
In class: How is cultural identity formed? Debate on the subject of
In class: Reading and discussion about French / British and American
Written assignment: an essay on an aspect of culture for week 11.
Weeks 8 -9: Culture Shock
In class: The shock of the strange, the shock of the familiar. Reading
and discussion about culture shock.
In class: the various stages of culture shock and how to prepare for it.
In class: discussion: how can the experience of culture shock be a
Online assignment: post an article or video on the subject of culture
shock. Students comment on each other’s posts.
In class: discussion of students’ posts.
In class: reading and discussion of Bill Bryson’s “I’m a Stranger Here
Myself”, on the subject of reverse culture shock
Online assignment: students post a real or imaginary short blog entry
on an experience of culture shock.
Weeks 10 – 13 Intercultural Perspectives
In class: reading and discussion about different cultural types, implicit
cultural concepts and cultural negotiation.
In class: developing intercultural competence: what are the linguistic
or cultural barriers and how can they be overcome?
In class: Group work: French / American cross-cultural negotiation
Online assignment: in groups, create and post an online survey using
Surveymonkey on the subject of intercultural communication. Students
answer and critique other students’ surveys.
In class: linguistic and intercultural skills, - avoiding faux pas and
increasing sensitivity to other cultures.
In class: Exploring the way non-verbal communication might have on
In class: reading and discussion about the role of context and power in
studying intercultural communication
In class: in small groups, using mindmapping to obtain a shared
perspective on a complex intercultural topic.
Online assignment: as follow up the groups post their mindmaps and
comment on each other’s work.
Class participation: students must be present and participate in all
Oral presentation and written assignments