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The Intention Behind The Two Modules in Intercultural Communication

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I believe that the intention behind these two modules is to communicate that during intercultural communication there are many cultural or pragmatic variables that might arise that would hinder communication in the target language. Both Professor Thomas Garza and Professor Dale Koike argue that there are instances in which one cannot use cultural or pragmatic aspects that are associated with one’s native culture when attempting to engage in conversation in the target language. Meaning is not always necessary what one literally utters, but rather the product of layers of cultural norms and pragmatic/situational undertones that alter the meaning of that which one speaks. Both of these aspects, cultural norms (e.g., faux pas) and implied pragmatics often make communication difficult if these facets of the target language and culture are not components of the language acquisition process. This illustrates that within the language classroom, there are more subtleties to the target language and culture that an instructor must illustrate in order to facilitate intercultural communication. These modules really helped me to understand the importance of clarifying these intercultural differences of linguocultures so that students would be able to avoid the pitfalls of these common faux pas.

In my own language classroom, there have already been numerous occasions in which my students have attempted to express a statement in German as one would in English, but the pragmatics of the statements do not quite translate into German as the result of the cultural norms in German-speaking lands and German pragmatic conventions. For instance, American students of the German language have the tendency to express that they “love” items (for instance, “ich liebe Bücher!”). The verb “to love” does exist in German, but it is generally considered to be too extreme of an emotion to use with objects and should only be used with family. Even in situations in which most Americans would express that they love another person, Germans would instead say “ich habe dich lieb”, which translates to “I have thee dearly.” The American cultural and pragmatic norms of using extreme emotions to describe situations does not generally express the same meaning in German, which is why it is important to express the implied meanings behind certain phrases in German and how they differ from English.

I would highly agree with Doctors Garza and Koike, using Doctor Garza’s phrase “the fifth skill” in order to express my belief that cultural and pragmatic education of how these factors either hinder smooth communication imply different pragmatic meanings than those of similar utterances in one’s primary language. In my classroom, speaking from my own past faux pas, I attempt to assist my students to develop the cultural competence that would allow them to become proficient speakers of the target language without the awkward moments that accompany a sense of ignorance toward the norms of the cultures of the target language. This is a component of a language instructor’s responsibility to their students to develop them into proficient speakers with a developed competence in intercultural communication.

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The Intention Behind the Two Modules in Intercultural Communication. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 18, 2022, from
“The Intention Behind the Two Modules in Intercultural Communication.” GradesFixer, 26 Oct. 2018,
The Intention Behind the Two Modules in Intercultural Communication. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 18 May 2022].
The Intention Behind the Two Modules in Intercultural Communication [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Oct 26 [cited 2022 May 18]. Available from:
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