Communication is more than just words. Effective and clear communication is essential in our day-to-day lives, even more so when interacting with people who come from different cultural backgrounds. It’s easy to misunderstand the meaning of words, yet, communication is much more than that, it’s multimodal. In addition to spoken or written words, multimodal communication encompasses things like gaze, gestures, even things like body posture and objects. Multimodal Interaction in Professional Contexts online course will teach you how to effectively utilize all forms of communication.

A laptop is on a table. In front of it is an open notebook and next to it a coffee cup.

Enhancing communication

Multimodal Interaction in Professional Contexts is a 3 ECTS online course. The course is based on recent studies on multimodal interaction and multilingualism. The core idea of the course revolves around the question “how do we create meaning by using different resources in interaction, such as speech, writing, signed languages, gestures, material objects and touch?”

Du­ring the cour­se, the stu­dent be­co­mes ac­quain­ted with a mul­ti­mo­dal view of in­te­rac­tion and exa­mi­nes the uti­li­za­tion of the con­cept in dif­fe­rent wor­king en­vi­ron­ments. The stu­dent prac­ti­ces ob­ser­ving in­te­rac­tion si­tua­tions and learns different ways of interacting with peop­le use in or­der to un­ders­tand and be un­ders­tood. Multimodal Interaction in Professional Contexts also teaches you how to communicate more effectively online. Especially now, when remote working and teaching has become the new norm, having good communication skills is more important than ever.

“Working together through remote meetings can be challenging and stressful. Being aware of the type of interaction we’re engaged in helps us to come up with better ways of communicating with each other – ways that help both well-being and understanding each other”, says Elina Tapio, a principal lecturer at Humak.

International benefits

Being able to communicate effectively in different ways is hugely beneficial for people who study or work abroad, and interact with persons from various cultural backgrounds. Having a different first language, or even communicating with second languages can present obstacles for communication. Gaining deeper understanding in multimodal interaction is vital for interacting and communicating in an international context.

“Interaction in international contexts is highly multilingual and quite often linguistic resources are not equally shared. This creates asymmetry in interaction – something we need to be aware of”, Tapio says.

Using multiple communicative modes allows people to participate in interaction situations where one might struggle with languages that are being used. By broadening your understanding of multimodal communication you enable yourself and others to understand and to be understood.

A group of friends are chatting and laughing.

Multimodal Communication is interaction

Multimodal Communication in Professional Contexts is an introductory course into multimodal communication, so no previous experience is required. In addition to previously mentioned aspects, the course examines the role of pictures, images, touch and virtual and physical place in communication.

People use multiple modes to convey meaning: gestures, gazes, material artefacts and so on. In fact, many linguists claim that the boundaries we draw between so-called linguistic and non-linguistic modes are actually artificial. Today, languages are not seen as independent, bounded, arbitrary systems or a code, but as a dynamic, multimodal activity. 

During the course you’ll recognize and be able to get rid of any existing written or spoken language biases. You learn to use all tools at your disposal as a method of communication.

Multimodal Communication in Professional Contexts is a 3 ECTS online course in English. Read more and sign up to the course from Humak’s website here. The study period is from 15.10.2020 to 31.7.2021. The course is ongoing and you can register at any time. The same course is also available in Finnish.

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