Overcoming the English language barrier: Perspectives of graduates, following experience of practice-based learning
Malthus, Caroline; Lu, Hongyan
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Citation:Malthus, C., & Lu, H. (2011). Overcoming the English language barrier: Perspectives of graduates, following experience of practice-based learning [unpublished Unitec Research Committee Research Report].
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/1633
The aim of this small-scale qualitative research project was to ascertain the strategies developed or used by graduate students to improve their spoken English language during their study experience. We hoped to identify the perceptions of 8 Bachelor of Nursing graduates from a range of ethnic backgrounds as to the inputs and experiences which had most influence on their spoken English language development, as well as the strategies they found most productive. We interviewed a small group of clinical tutors on the same topic, in order to gather their perspectives on the strategies students adopt and the key drivers of these. Clinical tutors provided another window into these experiences, underlining some of the graduates’ insights and adding their own observations on the ways in which BN students of EAL background effectively promote the development of their own language skills. These tutors presented diverse explanations of the ways that students learn to interact with patients, react to feedback, and develop a sense of professional identity as nurses. The study has resulted in a number of significant insights and recommendations that will be informative to Nursing lecturers and students, and lecturers in other disciplines with work placement components. A key observation from this study is the way in which BN graduates emphasise benefit both from the social and interactional aspects of the clinical learning experience, and at the same time show ways in which they autonomously took responsibility for developing their own spoken English language skills. Key achievements to date are the paper published in 2009 and invited presentations to BN staff and students. A paper is about to be submitted to an international journal of communication.