The course introduces students to different forms and strategies of digital communication in intercultural contexts, i.e. between members of different cultures. The course explores the challenges and potential barriers to communication across culturally diverse groups, as manifested in intercultural linguistic and communicative practices, in various forms of computer-mediated and digital communication, such as email communication, social media exchange, chat communication etc. A particular focus is on the exploration of the challenges and barriers to communication faced by multilingual environments and in professional/workplace settings, including an understanding of the impact of language on collective identity formation and understanding of the world.

The objective of the course is to make students aware of multiple relationships between language attitudes, ideologies and practices and to make them understand that language is socially embedded in multiple ways. The course will introduce basic sociolinguistic concepts and topics such as language / speech community, language variation and change in synchronic and diachronic perspective, the relationship between language and culture, basic concepts in contact linguistics,  identity theories, specifically those concerning the relation between language and basic social categories such as sex/gender, age, ethnicity, regional affiliation, and socio-economic status. Its objective is to enable students to think critically about the role of language in society with a special focus to the relation between language and identity, language attitudes and multilingualism .

Language policy consists of three inter-related but independent components: (1) actual practice, (2) beliefs and values, and (3) language management (Spolsky 2004). The main objective of this course is to provide a short overview of different models of language policy and planning and its relation to language managment. The students will get an insight into economic, legal and political aspects of language management. The bulk of the course will focus on presenting and discussing various facets of language managment in a variety of (multilingual) institutional contexts at micro- and macro-levels of society. A small-scale original research in a specific institutional setting will serve as an incentive for the formulation of effective practical recommendations for policy in specific settings.