Introduction to Cultures

LLCU 111/3.0

Silhouettes of diverse people


This course offers an overview of the theoretical framework behind the study of Intercultural Communication and proposes practical applications of these theories, as well as online modules on Intercultural Awareness by the Queen's University International Centre (QUIC). These QUIC modules are ungraded and optional, but students who complete them will obtain a Certificate by QUIC.

 This course has been designed to provide you with a historical and topical overview of the main theories and research related to Intercultural Communication, from the initial work done by Edward T. Hall and Geert Hofstede to more recent work, such as Cultural Identity (Identifications) Theory, Model of Intercultural Conflict, Describe-Interpret-Evaluate (D.I.E.), Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS), Theory of Basic Values and exploring Culture Shock.

As often as possible, practical applications of these theories will be taught and modelled through multimedia, literature, and active learning sessions (e.g. synchronous sessions). Students will practice applying course content through critical reflections, discussion, quizzes, and essay writing.

The Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) has also integrated themes from their 5-session workshops on Intercultural Awareness, which are based on some of the theories outlined above, spread throughout the 12 weeks of the course. These activities will provide you with introductory skills and knowledge to help you interact with cultural differences respectfully and effectively during your time at Queen’s and in future endeavors. To be awarded an Intercultural Awareness Certificate, issued by QUIC, students complete a brief quiz based on the content of the five activities.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course you will:

  1. Interpret and analyze the main theories and models behind Intercultural Communication
  2. Explore, examine, assess and interpret how the theories on Intercultural Communication have affected and/or influenced culture and society today.
  3. Analyze and interpret different texts and apply the tools of cultural analysis to enhance your skills in critical thinking.
  4. Develop better intercultural communication skills and develop life-long transferable skills to apply towards future studies, employment and personal growth.
  5. Conduct independent research, develop insight into contemporary society and culture and gain awareness that interpretations may vary depending on the perspective taken.
  6. Recognize your own theoretical conviction and develop a willingness to explore other points of view, linguistic sensitivity and analyze, compare and express the differences.


  • Week 1: What is Culture?
  • Week 2: The Power of Hidden Differences
  • Week 3: Intercultural Training
  • Week 4: Cultural Dimensions
  • Week 5: Cultural Identity/Identification
  • Week 6: Communicating with Strangers
  • Week 7: Intercultural Conflict
  • Week 8: Intercultural Competence / Awareness
  • Week 9: CQ – Cultural Intelligence
  • Week 10: Mass Communication
  • Week 11: Theory of Values
  • Week 12: Culture Shock


Winter 2024
Course Dates
Exam Dates (if applicable)
Delivery Mode


15% - Weekly Quizzes (10 of 12)
40% - Critical Reflection Journal (8 entries)
20% - Theme-Based Discussion Activities (4 of 5)
25% - Critical Reflection Essay
2% - Bonus Participation (Zoom Sessions)

**Evaluation Subject to Change**

Live Sessions

This course has mandatory live sessions (e.g. webinars, synchronous activities).

Textbook and Materials

We want to keep the course cost manageable, so we’ve organized the course resources in a way that either makes them free, or very affordable.

All course readings, lectures and videos will be available to you electronically via the course site.

Time Commitment

You can expect to spend, on average, about 10 hours per week (120 hours per term) completing relevant readings, assignments, and course activities.