78680 - Mediation - German (LM)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Gender equality Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The global aim of this course – which includes lectures and practical language classes – is to provide students with an expert knowledge of theories of international and intercultural communication. The students are expected to be familiar with the socio-cultural and linguistic factors affecting communication between speakers with different cultural backgrounds. They are introduced to techniques and skills which will enable them to mediate conflicts born of intercultural differences, with special regard to German-Italian encounters. Moreover, they are given the opportunity to develop their research competence and presentation skills, both orally and in written form. The language classes aim at improving students’ linguistic competence; over the two year period students’ knowledge of German should reach level C1.2 according to the European framework in all four abilities. These classes will work in connection with the lectures to improve students’ oral and writing skills in particular.

Course contents

The course "Mediation - German" comprises two parts:

1. Lezioni frontali/lectures in linguistics taught by the course professor (Marie A. Rieger) during the first semester. This component is made up of a total of 60 hours.

2. Esercitazioni di lingua/Language classes with Dr. Andrea Birk. This component is made up of a total of 36 hours taught during the second semester.


In this course, the term mediation is used as a means of resolving conflict in a way that will satisfy all conflicting parties. The course aims to develop students' theoretical and applicative knowledge as well as linguistic competence needed for intercultural mediation. Particular emphasis will be placed on conflicts arising from the collaboration between German and Italian professionals.

1. Lezioni frontali/Lectures

Intercultural mediation turns its attention on that aspects of an conflict which are due to cultural differences. Therefore, the course will present methods and models which try to describe cultural differences between societies/nations. There will be introduced and discussed concepts like culture and intercultural communication as well as mediation techniques.

2. Esercitazioni/Language classes

The language classes aim to consolidate and expand students' language skills, with particular emphasis placed on oral communication skills, and to broaden critical reading skills.

For information regarding the language classes see also Dr. Birk's website.


The common contents of the lectures are based on the following texts:

Mayer, Claude-Hélène (2008): Trainingshandbuch Interkulturelle Mediation und Konfliktlösung. Münster (Waxmann).

Schroll-Machl, S. (2003). Die Deutschen – Wir Deutsche. Fremdwahrnehmung und Selbstsicht im Berufsleben. Göttingen (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht).

[It has been asked to provide both as e-books. However, the list of readings may be subject to changes.]

Further reading:

Baumer, Thomas (2002): Handbuch Interkulturelle Kompetenz. Zürich (Orell Fuessli).

Erll, Astrid/Gymnich, Marion (2013): Interkulturelle Kompetenzen. Stuttgart (Klett).  

Knapp, Peter (Hg.) (2012): Konfliktlösungs-Tools: Klärende und deeskalierende Methoden für die Mediations- und Konfliktmanagement-Praxis. Bonn (managerSeminare Verlags GmbH).

Mayer, Claude-Hélène (2004): Interkulturelle Mediation und Konfliktbearbeitung. Bausteine deutsch-afrikanischer Wirklichkeiten. Münster (Waxmann).

Neudecker, Eva/Siegl, Andrea/Thomas, Alexander (2006): Beruflich in Italien. Trainingsprogramm für Manager, Fach- und Führungskrafte. Göttingen (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht).

Niedermeyer, Nina / Pishwa, Hanna (Hrsg.) (2012): Theoretische und applizierte Aspekte der Interkulturellen Kommunikation. Frankfurt a.M. et al. (Peter Lang).

Schugk, Michael (2004): Interkulturelle Kommunikation. Kulturbedingte Unterschiede in Verkauf und Werbung. München (Vahlen).

Straub, Jürgen/Weidemann Arne/ Weidemann, Doris (2007): Handbuch interkulturelle Kommunikation und Kompetenz: Grundbegriffe - Theorien – Anwendungsfelder. Stuttgart (Metzler)

Thomas, A./Kammhuber, S./Schroll-Machl, S. (Hrsg.) (2003): Handbuch Interkulturelle Kommunikation und Kooperation. Band 2: Länder, Kulturen und interkulturelle Berufstätigkeit. Göttingen (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht).

Thomas, A./Kinast, E.-U./Schroll-Machl, S. (Hrsg.) (2005): Handbuch Interkulturelle Kommunikation und Kooperation. Band 1: Grundlagen und Praxisfelder (2., überarbeitete Aufl.). Göttingen (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht).

Treichel, Dietmar/Mayer, Claude-Hélène (Hgg.) (2011): Lehrbuch Kultur, Münster (Waxmann).


Language course (Dr. Birk)

Erll, Astrid/Gymnich, Marion (2013): Interkulturelle Kompetenzen. Stuttgart (Klett).

Teaching methods

Lectures and seminar classes, interactive group work, language exercises.

Assessment methods

Lezioni frontali/Lectures

Attending students

Attending students are asked to present a talk (in German) during the lessons. It will have the form of group work (Gruppenreferat) and gives students the possibility to deepen their knowledge of one of the presented themes. Furthermore, they have to prepare the minutes of the lessons. Here, too, students will work in small groups. For both exam types, students will be supported.


Assessment criteria are:

1. Content knowledge;

2. Linguistic competence: phonetic, lexical and grammatical competence as well as fluency and the ability to use strategies in order to overcome communication problems;

3. Cooperation skills: cooperative planning completion, and presentation of the project;

4. Performance skills: clarity, adaptation to the hearers' needs;

Non-attending students, too, are asked to present a talk (during an individually agreed appointment). Furthermore, they have to prepare a paper (8-10 pages) on a different topic. Both topics have to be agreed during office hours.

The final mark of this part is the average between the two parts.


Esercitazioni/Language classes

Attending and non-attending students have to take an oral exam. They are asked to discuss one of the language classes’ topics’ from a contrastive perspective. The discussion will be based on the students collection of 3 texts, 3 diagrams and 3 pictures which should be neither from the textbook nor from Wikipedia. Students will present and discuss their individual collection during the oral exam.

Assessment criteria are in particular the student's linguistic competence (phonetic, lexical and grammatical competence as well as fluency and the ability to use strategies in order to overcome communication problems) needed for the task.

The final mark of the course “Mediation German” will be the average mark between the lezioni frontali exam's result (counting two times) and the esercitazione mark.

Teaching tools

Lezioni frontali/Lectures are supported by Powerpoint presentations. For didactic reasons, these presentations are not available for students. Content relevant readings are indicated at the end of every lesson.

Office hours

See the website of Maria Antoinette Rieger