This module focuses on politeness and listener-oriented strategies to ensure success in multicultural workplace settings, as well as on the pronunciation and prosodic features that can facilitate mutual comprehension.

Professional Communication Skills

12 hours

Theoretical background
Pragmatics in the world of work (for English foreign language practitioners)

  • Socio-cultural context + situational context in the multicultural workplace settings (context-bound assumptions)
  • Goal-oriented interaction + speaker- vs hearer-oriented communication
  • Direct/indirect speech acts
  • Politeness

Practical session

  • Decide to use formal or informal register
  • Directness/indirectness
    • Modal verbs
    • Downgrades / upgrades / hedges
  • Avoiding Face-threating acts

Time for reflection

  • Pair work: Take some time, at this point, and read this article
    • Could you list and (explain) at list three benefits of being polite at work?
    • Do you think interlocutors’ origins and cultural background affect politeness strategies?
  • Jigsaw reading and discussion

Practice and reflection

  • Telephoning (exercises / online resources)
  • Skype / Panopto (exercises / online resources
  • Grammar: reported speech
  • Pragmatics: managing conflicts / misunderstandings