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EDE4012 Cross-cultural Communication in Early Childhood

Semester 1, 2012 On-campus Springfield
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Education
School or Department : Education
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Nicole Green
Moderator: Deborah Geoghegan


Successful two-way communication is central to effective learning and teaching in the classroom and participation in the school community. Typically, the curriculum is delivered in the English language but in mainstream classrooms today many children, including those from Indigenous backgrounds, have home or first languages different from the language of instruction. While ESL learners need to learn the language of instruction, they need to learn about the culture of the target language too. Similarly, for effective cross-cultural communication teachers need to understand their own language and culture and that of the children they teach. They need to understand the nature of language as a system operating within different socio-cultural contexts and how to teach English as a second language. Attention is drawn to the role of language education policy in language teaching and the importance of children's learning styles and language learning strategies in the development of their English language and literacy skills.


This course examines the relationship of language and culture to communication in the early childhood learning environment and wider school community context. It provides an introduction to second language teaching pedagogy, including second language learning/ESL, development and assessment, the communicative approach, intercultural literacy and reflective practice. The nature of effective language learning environments and the way linguistic, socio-cultural, psychological and psycholinguistic factors may impact on second language learners in mainstream are also considered. Strategies to support effective cross-cultural communication in the classroom and in the school community, and approaches to managing ESL children's English language development are explored, including a special focus on cross-cultural communication as it applies to Australian Aboriginal and South-East Asian cultures. Approaches to curriculum and criteria for evaluation, selection and production of materials designed to develop children's communicative skills, including the use of ICTs in second language programs are also considered. NOTE: Minimum enrolment numbers apply to this offering. Should enrolments not reach the minimum number required for on-campus study, students may be transferred to the WEB offering and advised of this change before semester commences.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. The assessment item(s) that may be used to assess student achievement of an objective are shown in parenthesis. On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. critically discuss the impact of language and culture on communication (Seminar)
  2. design and implement strategies to support effective cross-cultural communication (Seminar)
  3. demonstrate knowledge of and assess children's second language learning and development (Seminar and Project)
  4. demonstrate knowledge of the linguistic, socio-cultural, psychological and psycholinguistic factors that impact on children as second language learners (Seminar and Project)
  5. develop a second language pedagogy that takes account of the principles of communicative language teaching, the need for intercultural literacy and reflective practice (Seminar and Project)
  6. create, modify and select curriculum materials to develop ESL children's communicative skills, including use of ICTs (Project)
  7. demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of English language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing (Seminar and Project)


Description Weighting(%)
1. Integrating the teaching of culture and the socio-cultural aspects of teaching 15.00
2. Issues in second language learning and teaching, intercultural literacy, the communicative approach, language proficiency and competence 20.00
3. Children's second language learning and development, language learning/communicative styles and strategies 15.00
4. Creating effective language learning environments for young English as a second language learners 25.00
5. Reflective practice and managing the effective second language learning environment 10.00
6. Curriculum materials design and evaluation, and use of ICTs in language learning 15.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • O'Neill, S., & Gish, A 2008, Teaching English as a second language, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Anderson, M 2001, Cross-cultural communication in the global classroom: issues and implications, Monash University Faculty of Business & Economics, Caulfield East, Vic.
  • Creese, C., & Martin, P. W. (eds.) 2004, Multilingual classroom ecologies: inter-relationships, interactions and ideologies, Multilingual Matters, Clevedon.
  • Davison, C (Ed.) 2005, Information technology and innovation in language education, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong.
  • Fleer, M., & Williams-Kennedy, D 2002, Building bridges: literacy development in young indigenous children, Australian Early Childhood Association, Canberra.
  • Piper, T 2001, And then there were two: children and second-language learning, 2nd edn, Pippin Publishing, Markham, ONT.
    (Electronic Resource from USQ Library.)
  • Shelton-Colangelo, S., Mancuso, C., & Duvall, D. (eds.) 2007, Teaching with joy: educational practices for the twenty-first century, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, Md.
  • Tabors, O 1997, One child, two languages: a guide for preschool educators of children learning English as a second language, Paul H Brookes, Baltimore.
  • Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 70.00
Independent Study 70.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
SEMINAR 45 45 30 Apr 2012 (see note 1)
PROJECT 55 55 11 Jun 2012

  1. Students must choose a seminar topic and advise the Course Examiner by the end of week 2. Seminar topics are on the StudyDesk.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and have Internet access to UConnect for this course.