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Type: Journal article
Title: Language background, proficiency in English, and selection for language development.
Author: Chur-Hansen, A.
Citation: Medical Education, 1997; 31(5):312-319
Issue Date: 1997
ISSN: 0308-0110
Abstract: With a diverse language background profile in an Australian medical student population, teaching interventions are necessary for students whose English language proficiency is not adequate for the study of medicine. This paper describes the screening of written and aural English language proficiency in 143 first year undergraduate students using a standardized instrument. Students identified as experiencing language difficulties were subsequently assessed by interview and allocated to faculty-based Language Development Programme. Students with the greatest need for language support participated in a full 2 year programme. Those requiring less assistance were offered more limited support in the form of specific modules within the programme. Students allocated to the full programme were significantly weaker in language proficiency compared to those offered specific modules and those not offered a placement. The information gathered during the structured interview is valuable in establishing for medical educators specific areas in which language-related teaching for students who require it can be directed. Future research is required to evaluate the effectiveness of faculty-based language interventions in terms of improvement in language proficiency over time and the effect of any improvements in language proficiency on academic and clinical performance.
Keywords: Humans; Language; Language Development; Education, Medical, Undergraduate; Teaching; Adolescent; Adult; South Australia
RMID: 0030005914
DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2923.1997.00674.x
Appears in Collections:Psychiatry publications

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