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Communicating with Diverse Audiences

University Of Surrey via FutureLearn


Learn to interpret different varieties of English and avoid communication bias

Communication with diverse audiences is necessary for many professions.

You may face communication barriers when talking to people with a different cultural background, who speak different varieties of English, or who don’t share your life experiences and professional practices.

On this course, you’ll learn how different values or expectations, and different varieties of English can pose challenges to effective communication.

You’ll learn to make conscious decisions about the way you use language in interpersonal interactions and how to communicate more effectively through a range of strategies.

This course is designed for professionals looking to improve their ability to communicate across linguistic and cultural boundaries.

Recommended for learners age 16+


  • Making Sense of Culture
    • Introduction to the course
    • What is culture?
    • The cultural iceberg
    • Being critical
    • Obstacles in communication across linguistic and cultural boundaries
    • Summing up week 1
  • The Communication Filter
    • Communication: practices and perceptions
    • Filters and cues
    • Filters and cues in action
    • Unconscious bias
    • Summing up week 2
  • Communication Across Englishes
    • 'Englishes' in the world
    • English as a lingua franca
    • Evaluating success in ELF
    • Negotiation of meaning
    • Summing up week 3
  • Managing Relationships in Diverse Contexts
    • Rapport management and its dimensions
    • Interactional goals and rapport management strategies
    • Rapport management in practice
    • Developing (intercultural) communicative competence
    • Course summary

Taught by

Doris Dippold


5.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

4.6 rating at FutureLearn based on 63 ratings

Start your review of Communicating with Diverse Audiences

  • Anonymous
    This is an excellent course which is very relevant to my field of work as my job involves helping native English speakers to communicate more clearly by adapting their language in international settings. I have found the videos, articles and comments very interesting and useful and the course is presented in a really engaging way. I particularly enjoy the quizzes and practice activities such as Practising negotiation of meaning in Week 3.
    I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in international communication.

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