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Students are expected to write a Critical Evaluation of a journal article:
From language classroom to clinical context: The role of language and culture in communication for nurses using English as a second language. A thematic analysis, by Fiona O'Neill.
An evaluation is similar to analysis, except that one extends the analysis with greater emphasis on the evaluation component. Write this task as if it were an essay with carefully planned paragraphs. Remember that the introductory (orientation) paragraph sets the scene and provides the thesis statement. Each of the subsequent paragraphs should focus on one point (topic) only. The critical analysis and evaluation should address each of the following sub-questions or tasks:
The purpose of a Critical Evaluation is to inform others of the usefulness/value of the resource through careful analysis, evaluation and possible reflection of the significance of the resource.
To evaluate consider these questions and give your reasons
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The essay focuses on the problems of nurses educated in English as a foreign language who have been recruited by Australian hospitals as they struggle between language proficiency and clinical efficiency. The gap between the linguistic training they receive and the requirements of their workplace has been explored through the essay. These nurses face a number of cultural and linguistic challenges at their job which is often misconstrued as incompetency. Based on the testimony of a few nurses, the essay illustrates the ways in which the English language is vital in constructing a new professional and cultural identity in Australia. The themes of integration and adaptation recur throughout the essay to prove that learning a language is as much cultural and social accumulation as it is communication. Thus, questions of cultural identity and problems of migration are discussed in this essay.
The essay must, however, be viewed in the larger context of hundreds of student nurses, mostly from India, who faced deportation from Australia for lack of proficiency in English in 2010 (Times of India World Aug 9, 2010). The need for English language training during this time becomes an issue of safety and security in a strange culture. English language proficiency thus became crucial in order to avoid deportation and victimization.
The purpose of the study is envisioned to be the 'means of initiating a social change'. (O'Neill 2011) This study is relevant in the background of globalisation and interculturalism where people leave the comfort of their homes to look for lucrative jobs across the world. Referring to the work of J.K Hall (cited in O'Neill 2011) the author notes that 'in an increasingly globalised world, a communicative, intercultural orientation to language teaching, learning and assessment is seen as vital. Hence raising the question of what 'linguistic, intercultural and social preparation do nurses for whom English is a second language need…' (O'Neill 2011).
As evidence of the argument made, the author provides the testimony of participants who have been a part of the English language training program. Through the qualitative method, these personal accounts are analysed to observe the alienation and estrangement that foreign nurses face at their workplace due to communication gap. The research methodology in this study as the author explains is a process of thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews. Adding to an existing body of literature, the study aims at 'identifying the nature of the language support needed by such nurses to facilitate their adaptation and integration' (O'Neill 2011). The author argues that the lack of intercultural understanding could impact the quality of care provided to patients. Hence stating that the benefits of training nurses in English language are twofold- integrating nurses and better health care system.
The position of the author as both a nurse as well as an ESL trainer gives an insider’s perspective into the issues of nurses. However, being a native locates him outside the focus group of the study. The author remains sensitive to the issues of marginalisation as he draws on the study of Deegan and Simkin, 2010; Hawthorne, 2001; Omeri and Atkins, 2002 to state that, “This effort involves overcoming the perception that they are somehow an inferior resource to native-born Australian nurses, a perception that may lead to stereotypes and marginalisation” (O'Neill 2011). This study is significant because it could lead to the assimilation of immigrant nurses in a time of discrimination. The author presents his arguments in a straightforward manner through various examples. Such a direct approach gives the study an authentic tone.