BA in Language and Intercultural Relations
Globalization and increased migration have brought people from a variety of backgrounds closer together and in more frequent contact. Even though this increase in international contacts has seen a heightened use of English as a lingua franca, intercultural communication issues remain and sometimes give rise to significant misunderstandings, even conflicts.
Intercultural relations professionals are strategic relationship builders who work with individuals, corporations, governments and NGOs to help all parties communicate in a way that bridges cultures and lifts barriers of language. The goal is to enable an unimpeded flow of information between parties who do not share a language and cultural code. Our BA in Language and Intercultural Relations (LIR) enables students to focus on one of two streams (French or Spanish), while acquiring skills necessary to navigate culturally diverse working and social environments.
While developing the ability to adapt to, understand and appreciate cultural and linguistic diversity, students gain practical skills that open up employment opportunities through one of three concentrations.
I know there is strength in the differences between us.
I know there is comfort, where we overlap.
In an increasingly international and interconnected global environment, cultural and language skills are crucial. It is hard to imagine how North Americans or Europeans, for instance, could function successfully in countries like China without an appreciation of that country’s history, evolution and culture. Moreover, the strong analytical capabilities, independent and critical thinking, and sound oral and written communication skills that LIR students acquire are talents valued by employers widely. There is no doubt that, if a job requires critical thought, research, analysis, persuasive writing, and extensive communication skills, Ryerson LIR graduates would be head and shoulders above the competition.
The LIR program has as its focus the development of the ability to communicate in a linguistically and culturally sensitive manner with diverse groups, and to facilitate communication between groups that may not share much in terms of language or cultural background through the observation, analysis and understanding of cultural differences and similarities. You will acquire skills taken from anthropological and ethnographic research, and apply them to intercultural negotiation and communication.
In addition, thinking critically, communicating effectively in at least two languages, and researching in a meaningful way are just some of the skills you will attain by the end of the four-year degree.
Our program relates practical and theoretical knowledge about language, culture and theory to the real world and prepares you for careers in a wide array of areas requiring cross-cultural communication skills.
The first two years of the program offer basic knowledge of theories, methods, and practices of a broad range of social sciences, including sociology, psychology, politics and governance and more. This will broaden your perspective of the field and provide you with an ideal foundation for specialized study in Language and Intercultural Relations in the upper years.
Extensive multidisciplinary opportunities in the upper years through professionally related electives in a broad range of areas, including social sciences, natural sciences, and business give you flexibility to pursue secondary areas of interest that complement your studies in Language and Intercultural Relations and enhance your career preparation.
1. Language and Cognition, with courses in linguistics, psychology and early childhood education, which opens up opportunities in post-graduate studies (teachers’ college, Speech and Language Therapy, linguistics, etc.);
2. Organizational Behaviour, with courses in group dynamics that prepare students to work as intercultural communication professionals between governments, NGOs, multinationals and those with which they want to communicate; and,
3. Translation Studies, with courses in linguistics and translation from and into English.