Information on individual educational components (ECTS-Course descriptions) per semester

Degree programme:Bachelor Social Work Fulltime
Type of degree:FH Bachelor´s Degree Programme
 Summer Semester 2020

Course unit titleIntercultural Dialogue
Course unit code04854041
Language of instructionEnglish
Type of course unit (compulsory, optional)Compulsory
Semester when the course unit is deliveredSummer Semester 2020
Teaching hours per week2
Year of study2020
Level of course unit (e.g. first, second or third cycle)First Cycle (Bachelor)
Number of ECTS credits allocated2
Name of lecturer(s)Doris BÖHLER
Theresa HUTTER

Prerequisites and co-requisites

not applicable

Option B with Sharon du Plessis-Schneider. Prerequisites for incoming students: basic knowledge in working with people in social work and related disciplines.

Course content

Option A with Doris Böhler:

This course holds especially high content of practice field analysis because of the cooperation with Aqua Mühle. Students participate in a project work of one week with clients where they actively work together. The results will be presented in the yearly conference aqua forum; in Frastanz. Students will be able to conceptualize, take part and evaluate their project involving issues of:

  • intercultural theory - awareness, sensitivity, concepts, etc. 
  • intercultural awareness - identity issues and personal history
  • intercultural communication

A critical analysis and reflection is a further way to deepen their understanding.

Option B with Sharon du Plessis-Schneider: This course focuses on the linkage between the theoretical and practical aspects of cultural theory by critically reflecting on key issues in contemporary social work such as

  • cultural competence,
  • awareness,
  • sensitivity, and
  • humility

It offers a practical approach to communication and reflects personal assumptions, values, stereotypes and prejudices. By emphasising the fluidity of the concept of culture, it shows ways to increase the participants' ability to communicate effectively through experiential activities. In addition, theoretical approaches are used to explain the underlying social mechanisms in communication.

Learning outcomes

Option A with Doris Böhler: only available for residence Social Work students (max. 10 participants)

The students will understand the principles, ethics and value-base of inter-cultural theory and practice, and consider alternative concepts. They will compare critically the commonalities and differences of human experience, in order to construct an appropriate and comprehensive social work position. By the means of project work based learning students will enable a direct transfer of knowledge to broaden their intervention competences. Self-reflection and practical experience in inter-cultural communication form central aspects of this course.

Option B with Sharon du Plessis-Schneider: after completing this course, you will:

  • Demonstrate comprehension of the term culture and critically reflect social work practices.
  • describe the social, economic, and political implications that shape definitions of culture.
  • focus attention on the social work task at hand by defining effective client/social worker communication
  • Generate positive experiences cross-culturally through awareness of generic social work traits such as openness, flexibility, listening skills and compassion.
  • Examine the values and norms of social work profession and discipline based on IFSW code of ethics.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods

lectures, small group activity, project groups, activities and reflection

Assessment methods and criteria

Option A with Doris Böhler: learning diary

Option B: with Sharon du Plessis-Schneider, two-part assignment comprising of:

  1. Reflective journal (20 Points)
  2. Interview (80 Points, group grade): teams of 3-4 student contact international students from different degree programmes at the FH and conduct interviews with them and portray their narratives.

Option A with Doris Böhler: Cooperation with aqua mühle, Frastanz - seminar will take place in German.

Option B with Sharon du Plessis-Schneider: language of instruction is English.

Recommended or required reading

Ash, Sarah, L. & Clayton, Patti, H. (2004). The articulated learning: An approach to guided reflection and assessment. Innovative Higher Education, 29(2), 137-154.

Beesley, Paula; Watts Melanie; Harrison, Mary (2018) Developing Your Communication Skills in Social Work, Health and Social Care: Knowledge and Skills, London: Sage Publications. 

Bohm, David (2004) On Dialogue. Edited by Lee Nichol. London, 2nd. Edition, New York: Routledge.

Bunge, Mario (1997): Mechanism and explanation. Philosophy of Social Science. Vol. 27:4, pp. 410– 465.

Campanini et al. (2008) European Social Work, Carocci. EASSW (1995) Human Rights and Social Work Education, Lisbon.

Hasson, Gill (2015) Brilliant communication skills. Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.

Freeley, Austin; Steinberg, David (2012) Argumentation and Debate, Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.

Koprowska, Juliet (2020) Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Social Work, 5th edition. London: Learning Matters/Sage.

Lishman, Joyce (2009) Communication in Social Work. 2nd edition. Bangstoke: Macmillan.

Lyons, Karen, (2012) The Sage Handbook of International Social Work, London: Sage Publications.

Mahdi, Raya. N Nunez; Popma, Laura (2007) Intercultural Sensitivity: Van Gorcum.

Sorrells, Kathryn (2015) Intercultural Communication, Globalization and Social Justice, 2nd edition, London: Sage Publications.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face, distance learning)

face-to-face; compulsary attendance: in case of absence read study regulations

  • Option A: in German language
  • Option B: in English language
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