Student issue, English as second language

  1. I am wondering how educators deal with students who speak English as their second language when they are extremely difficult to understand? Appropriate, effective communication is such a critical component of nursing and there is absolutely no way to be a good nurse without it. Any pointers for helping students succeed who are struggling with English? THANKS!
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    About TchRN

    Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 5
    Clinical Educator; from US
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in Telemetry, cardiac, hospice


  3. by   BSNChirpNICU
    Hi, I just started my first teaching job at a unaccredited LPN school- most of the students are ESL; most can speak clearly with a strong accent but there are a few who I have a very very difficult time understanding. AND they cannot comprehend/read medical terminology very clearly either- (low grades because of this)
    I find myself trying to teach 'down' to them just so they can understand. I am going to recommend to the struggling students that they take free medical terminology course online or take more ESL classes locally. Otherwise they will not make it.
  4. by   JBudd
    I did a paper on ESL nursing students. There just isn't a whole lot out there for them, but some of the tips are:

    -providing lecture notes ahead of time so they have time to look up vocabulary
    -pairing them with students willing to have study groups, where they can practice their English with friendly corrections
    -allowing bilingual dictionaries to be used during exams
    -teach test taking skills; identify the stem, and what qualifiers are, many ESL try to understand individual words instead of the phrase as a whole
    -some studies showed ESL students come out of public systems where they were shunted away from the college track, and may never have learned research or computer skills: but intro to support services, library resources and professional data bases benefits all students, not just the ESL group
    - require presentations in English in "safe areas", such as small groups, before they have to "perform" in wider public venues, such as the hospital, so they can get feedback