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postgraduate thesis: Need analysis for a Chinese-language course for medical students at the University of Hong Kong

TitleNeed analysis for a Chinese-language course for medical students at the University of Hong Kong
Authors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chan, L. [陳立基]. (2012). Need analysis for a Chinese-language course for medical students at the University of Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5017756
AbstractMany non-English-speaking countries and regions are establishing medical programmes using English as the sole medium of instruction, with the aim of producing global leaders who can function without communicative barriers. However, graduates from these programmes still have to use the local, non-English language to communicate with their local patients. The aim of this study is to examine whether these graduates experience any difficulty in communicating with their patients in the local language. We looked at the medical graduates of The University of Hong Kong as a specific example. The results of the study can be used for designing a local language course in these programmes. Graduates from the MBBS program of The University of Hong Kong were invited to take part, using selective, convenience and snowball sampling methods. Nineteen subjects voluntarily took part. Semi-structured interviews were individually conducted, and were based on a framework of questions in the four areas of Chinese language usage: reading, listening, writing, and speaking. All subjects indicated a certain degree of difficulty in using Chinese language in their clinical practice. In reading professional medical documents in Chinese, they had problems in recognizing the hand-written and the simplified Chinese characters. They also had difficulty in understanding the meanings of the words, in particular the Chinese medical terms, their variants, their abbreviations, and in following the complex Chinese academic discourses. In listening, they had difficulties in understanding Mandarin, especially those subjects who graduated more than 14 years ago and had little exposure to Mandarin during their school education. Even if they were able to recognize the spoken words, they may still have difficulties in understanding their meaning, just as they did in reading. In writing, the subjects did not perceive much difficulty, mainly because they could avoid writing professional medical documents in Chinese. In speaking, the subjects had difficulty with Mandarin. But the subjects did not complain of difficulties in speaking to their patients in Cantonese, despite their poor Chinese medical vocabulary, mainly because they developed strategies to avoid using Chinese medical terms, including giving the English terms instead, using a more general term, and or giving a description or explanation instead of the name. These strategies of complete omission, code switching, generalization, circumlocution are commonly used by learners of a second language when they experience lexical difficulties. They may jeopardize doctor-patient communication. Many subjects recognized the importance of having a good level of Chinese medical vocabulary. They also think that the use of Chinese medical terms, under appropriate conditions, allowed patients to have a more accurate and concrete picture of their conditions. The present study has identified Mandarin and Chinese medical vocabulary as the areas in which medical graduates from the HKU medical programme are particularly deficient. With the increasing emphasis on Mandarin in primary and secondary schools, new graduates from the programme can become more competent. But Chinese medical vocabulary remains a problem, and should be considered in the planning of a Chinese language course for the medical students at HKU. The results may also inform medical programmes in other non-English speaking countries and regions which use English as the sole medium of instruction. Training in the local language is important when English is used as the sole medium of instruction.
DegreeMaster of Education
SubjectMedical students - China - Hong Kong.
Chinese language - Study and teaching (Higher) - China - Hong Kong.
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/183353

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChan, Lap-ki.-
dc.contributor.author陳立基.-
dc.date.accessioned2013-05-26T06:54:38Z-
dc.date.available2013-05-26T06:54:38Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationChan, L. [陳立基]. (2012). Need analysis for a Chinese-language course for medical students at the University of Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5017756-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/183353-
dc.description.abstractMany non-English-speaking countries and regions are establishing medical programmes using English as the sole medium of instruction, with the aim of producing global leaders who can function without communicative barriers. However, graduates from these programmes still have to use the local, non-English language to communicate with their local patients. The aim of this study is to examine whether these graduates experience any difficulty in communicating with their patients in the local language. We looked at the medical graduates of The University of Hong Kong as a specific example. The results of the study can be used for designing a local language course in these programmes. Graduates from the MBBS program of The University of Hong Kong were invited to take part, using selective, convenience and snowball sampling methods. Nineteen subjects voluntarily took part. Semi-structured interviews were individually conducted, and were based on a framework of questions in the four areas of Chinese language usage: reading, listening, writing, and speaking. All subjects indicated a certain degree of difficulty in using Chinese language in their clinical practice. In reading professional medical documents in Chinese, they had problems in recognizing the hand-written and the simplified Chinese characters. They also had difficulty in understanding the meanings of the words, in particular the Chinese medical terms, their variants, their abbreviations, and in following the complex Chinese academic discourses. In listening, they had difficulties in understanding Mandarin, especially those subjects who graduated more than 14 years ago and had little exposure to Mandarin during their school education. Even if they were able to recognize the spoken words, they may still have difficulties in understanding their meaning, just as they did in reading. In writing, the subjects did not perceive much difficulty, mainly because they could avoid writing professional medical documents in Chinese. In speaking, the subjects had difficulty with Mandarin. But the subjects did not complain of difficulties in speaking to their patients in Cantonese, despite their poor Chinese medical vocabulary, mainly because they developed strategies to avoid using Chinese medical terms, including giving the English terms instead, using a more general term, and or giving a description or explanation instead of the name. These strategies of complete omission, code switching, generalization, circumlocution are commonly used by learners of a second language when they experience lexical difficulties. They may jeopardize doctor-patient communication. Many subjects recognized the importance of having a good level of Chinese medical vocabulary. They also think that the use of Chinese medical terms, under appropriate conditions, allowed patients to have a more accurate and concrete picture of their conditions. The present study has identified Mandarin and Chinese medical vocabulary as the areas in which medical graduates from the HKU medical programme are particularly deficient. With the increasing emphasis on Mandarin in primary and secondary schools, new graduates from the programme can become more competent. But Chinese medical vocabulary remains a problem, and should be considered in the planning of a Chinese language course for the medical students at HKU. The results may also inform medical programmes in other non-English speaking countries and regions which use English as the sole medium of instruction. Training in the local language is important when English is used as the sole medium of instruction.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B50177564-
dc.subject.lcshMedical students - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.subject.lcshChinese language - Study and teaching (Higher) - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.titleNeed analysis for a Chinese-language course for medical students at the University of Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5017756-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Education-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5017756-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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