Identifying Second Language Speech Tasks and Ability Levels for Successful Nurse Oral Interaction with Patients in a Linguistic Minority Setting: An Instrument Development Project

T Isaacs, M.D Laurier, C.E Turner, N Segalowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

One of the most demanding situations for members of linguistic minorities is a conversation between a health professional and a patient, a situation that frequently arises for linguistic minority groups in North America, Europe, and elsewhere. The present study reports on the construction of an oral interaction scale for nurses serving linguistic minorities in their second language (L2). A mixed methods approach was used to identify and validate a set of speech activities relating to nurse interactions with patients and to derive the L2 ability required to carry out those tasks. The research included an extensive literature review, the development of an initial list of speech tasks, and validation of this list with a nurse focus group. The retained speech tasks were then developed into a questionnaire and administered to 133 Quebec nurses who assessed each speech task for difficulty in an L2 context. Results were submitted to Rasch analysis and calibrated with reference to the Canadian Language Benchmarks, and the constructs underlying the speech tasks were identified through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Results showed that speech tasks dealing with emotional aspects of caregiving and conveying health-specific information were reported as being the most demanding in terms of L2 ability, and the most strongly associated with L2 ability required for nurse–patient interactions. Implications are discussed with respect to the development and use of assessment instruments to facilitate L2 workplace training for health care professionals.
Translated title of the contributionIdentifying second language speech tasks and ability levels for successful nurse oral interaction with patients in a linguistic minority setting: An instrument development project
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-570
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Communication
Volume26
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2011

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