4. Intercultural Communication and Motivation

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Introduction/ Methodology

This module is written and narrated by Chris Malherbe, English@Work, Germany.
Vocabulary list by Learnmera Oy, Finland.
Cartoons, layout and video by Boris Stoyanov, e-Training Solutions, Germany.


This self-help learning module has been designed for people who want to be more effective in their communication in English with people from other cultures. It will enable you to understand the people you are communicating with better and to improve your intercultural communication. As a result, you will understand your culture and that of others better.

This self-help learning module is suitable for you if:

• You have had misunderstandings when communicating with someone from another culture
• You have a feeling that or your communication partners are taking things too literally
• You are not sure what is appropriate for you to do in your intercultural communication
• You are not sure what the people you are communicating with are really trying to say
• You sometimes have difficulties understanding people from other cultures

Required level of English language proficiency to read and understand this module:

B2 or higher

Based on: Europass Language Passport


4.1:      Introduction
4.2:      What is Culture
4.3:      Perception – Attitudes, Values and Belief Systems
4.4:      Style-shifting
4.5:      Mindsets
4.6:      10 Cultural Variables
4.7:      Definition of Control
4.8:      Definition of Time
4.9:      Definition of Action
4.10:    Definition of Communication
4.11:    Definition of Space
4.12:    Definition of Power
4.13:    Definition of Individualism
4.14:    Definition of Competitiveness
4.15:    Definition of Structure
4.16:    Definition of Thinking
4.17:    Case Studies
4.18:    Summary: 7 Disciplines & 3 Steps
4.19:    Dealing with …

Estimated time to complete the module:

8 hours


Upon completion of this module you will:

• Be able to compare and contrast your culture with other cultures
• Know what a mindset is and how it impacts cross-cultural communication
• Understand and be able to apply 10 key cultural variables to any target culture
• Be better prepared for your communication and be able to practice the art of style-shifting
• Be more motivated to communicate with people from other cultures


This E-learning book is an open educational resource. It uses open-source technology and multimedia. It is mobile-friendly and device-independent. It is delivered online but there also is an offline version. The self-help learning program is designed for individual learners to work on their own and includes practice activities. It can also be used in a classroom as part of an instructor-led training program.

This module is also available in short form as a video lesson:

Download Vocabulary list Download this module as PDF


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© 2014-2017 English at Work: The materials are Open Educational Resources. As a learner or trainer, you may download, reproduce, customize and otherwise make use of the materials. You may also amend, edit or otherwise change all original text, provided that all original copyright notices remain intact and appear on all amended versions or reproductions thereof. You may distribute the materials by any means including electronic mail or on a storage device such as a CD for the purpose of education or training. However, the materials may not be sold, leased or loaned. Any other use of the materials not defined in this agreement is subject to our written approval.
Vocabulary list by © 2017 Learnmera Oy (CC BY-NC)
Cartoons by © 2016-2017 Boris Stoyanov (CC BY-NC-ND). Produced for SupEFL project 2014-1-DE02-KA200-001093