Communicating Across Cultures is a MOOC from the British Council which will enable you to develop an understanding of the impact of culture in shaping everyday behaviour, including communication.  It will provide you with the skills and tools to identify cultural preferences in the way people communicate and to improve the effectiveness of your own communication in multicultural and multilingual situations. 

The course will ask you to reflect on how culture has inluenced your preferences and behaviour in multicultural and multilingual situations. It will also introduce you to tools to help you better understand how people from other cultural backgrounds prefer to communicate. You will learn a range of strategies and techniques to use immediately to prepare for new and familiar intercultural interactions, communicate effectively and manage challenging situations. 

This course is part of the Digital Skills programme - our response to the challenging conditions facing young people during the Covid-19 pandemic - which focuses on new and creative forms of digital engagement with audiences, especially with people who are marginalised and under-represented.

It supports the British Council’s ambition to provide skills development training to at least 25 million young people worldwide by 2025.

Participants who complete the course will be able to:

  • Apply an intercultural mindset to communicate flexibly and sensitively in a range of multicultural and multilingual situations
  • Evaluate new and familiar cultural situations with an understanding of how others might react to your preferences and behaviour, enabling you to respond positively and empathetically
  • Engage confidently and effectively with challenging intercultural situations

Why now?

  • More people worldwide, including in the UK, face exclusion from economic, political, social and cultural life, resulting in marginalisation, inequality and poverty. 
  • Trust is in decline – between citizens and state institutions, between generations, and across other fault-lines based on culture, identity and religion, leading to division, instability and conflict
  • Half the world’s population are under 30. These young people are disproportionately affected by conflict, economic change, and environmental disasters. Many – especially girls and young women, young disabled people, and refugees – are unable to access education and decent work. Their voices are unheard.