Communication and cultural mediation (2022/2023)

Course code
Academic sector

Learning outcomes

General Learning outcomes Knowledge and understanding - Knowledge and understanding of the principles concerning the listening attitude - Knowledge and understanding of the empathic relationship Ability to apply knowledge and understanding - Ability to develop a collaborative and constructive relationship both with the user and the other professional roles involved in the helping processes. Specific learning outcomes: The course is designed to improve students’ awareness of the complexity of the relationship between service-provider and service-user when social workers are required to support people whose cultural background is different from their own. Key subject areas include the impact of the service-provider’s (i.e. social worker’s) beliefs and understandings, communication style and sensibilities (in terms of sensitive subject matter) on the support relationship, as well as the importance of intercultural negotiation and mediation in the management of support activities with people who are themselves migrants or come from a migrant background. The course focuses in particular on the Critical Incident/Culture Shock technique developed by Margalit Cohen-Emerique – which places the (future) professional, with their particular frame of reference, areas of sensitivity and communication style, at the heart of the process of reflection – to help the student develop an intercultural approach in their work going forward.

Learning outcomes – theoretical knowledge and skills:
By the end of the course, students will be expected to:
- understand the concept of the “frame of reference”;
- be familiar with the primary barriers to engagement and communication with the other;
- be familiar with the key components of the Critical Incident methodology;
- understand how the processes involved in cultural or intercultural mediation are structured.

Learning outcomes – applied knowledge and skills:
By the end of the course, students will be expected to be able to:
- recognise and interpret the assumptions and values that determine different cultural frames of reference;
- recognise different communication styles;
- apply the Critical Incident methodology to analyse specific cases and interventions.

Learning outcomes – independent appraisal skills:
By the end of the course, students will be expected to have developed:
- the capacity to critically appraise the relationship between social needs and an intercultural approach to communication;
- an awareness of the hidden aspects of a culture and the impact of our preconceptions and beliefs on our way of being in the world and in relation to others;
- the ability to recognise the specific and relative qualities of our own cultural and professional models.

Learning outcomes – communication skills:
By the end of the course, students will be expected to:
- be familiar with the technical and academic terminology relating to an intercultural approach to the subjects of interest;
- have developed core intercultural competences, specifically:
i. awareness of their own frame of reference and communication style;
ii. listening as a path to more effective and mindful management of relationships with colleagues and service-users
- have developed core competences in intercultural negotiation.

Learning outcomes – interpretive skills:
By the end of the course, students will be expected to be able to:
- use the Critical Incident methodology as a mode of personal (and team) learning;
- identify and source tools and materials that can be used to develop an intercultural approach in their work;
- use models of intercultural competence to analyse/evaluate/improve their personal style of intercultural communication/negotiation/mediation.