Students’ perceptions on using an isiZulu web-based learning tool to improve communication skills in an MBChB programme

Main Article Content

R Gokool
S Reddy
F Moosa
Y Odayar

Abstract





Background. African language teaching and learning is critical in a healthcare context to enhance effective doctor-patient communication. In this context, the University of KwaZulu-Natal recognises the importance of proficiency in isiZulu and has been a forerunner in developing isiZulu within the health sciences setting. This pilot study reports on students’ perceptions of using an isiZulu web-based learning tool to improve communication skills in an MBChB programme.


Objective. To assess students’ perceptions of an innovative web-based learning tool to improve isiZulu communication skills. Specifically, the study evaluated participants’ language proficiency, technological needs and experiences using the isiZulu website as a language teaching and learning tool.


Method. In this mixed methods study, data from an online questionnaire via Google Forms was used to ascertain participants’ perceptions of the isiZulu web-based learning tool. We recruited 19.5% of the MB ChB undergraduate student population for participation in this study. The data were analysed for emergent themes and to make recommendations for improving the web tool.


Results. The overall feedback regarding the website was positive. Recommendations for the tool included developing more learning activities and refining specific technical aspects of the website.


Conclusion. Communicating safely and effectively with isiZulu patients is critical to avoid miscommunication. While the study findings showed that the website proved an excellent tool for improving isiZulu communication skills and interacting with the learning content, further research related to the tool and enhancing isiZulu clinical communication skills is warranted.





Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Students’ perceptions on using an isiZulu web-based learning tool to improve communication skills in an MBChB programme. (2024). African Journal of Health Professions Education, 16(2), e178. https://doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2024.v16i2.178
Section
Scientific Letter/Short Report
Author Biographies

S Reddy, School of Clinical Medicine, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Fifth year medical student at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

F Moosa, School of Clinical Medicine, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Fifth year medical student at Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Y Odayar, School of Clinical Medicine, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Third year medical student at Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal

How to Cite

Students’ perceptions on using an isiZulu web-based learning tool to improve communication skills in an MBChB programme. (2024). African Journal of Health Professions Education, 16(2), e178. https://doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2024.v16i2.178

References

Matthews M, Van Wyk J. Improving communication in the South African healthcare context. Afr J Health Profess Educ 2018;10(4):194- 198. https://doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE. 2018.v10i4.1000

Matthews M. Vocation-specific isiZulu language teaching and learning for medical students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Durban: UKZN; 2013.

Gokool R. Cognitive and linguistic complexity in an isiZulu task- based computer-assisted language-learning syllabus for health sciences students: Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch University; 2018.

Hartman N, Kathard H, Perez G, et al. Health Sciences undergraduate education at the University of Cape Town: A story of transformation. S Afr Med J 2012;102(6):477-480. https://hdl.handle.net/10520/EJC121293

Levin ME. Language as a barrier to care for Xhosa-speaking patients at a South African paediatric teaching hospital. S Afr Med J 2006;96(10):1076-1079.

Levin ME. Effects on quality of care and health care worker satisfaction of language training for health care workers in South Africa. Afr J Health Profess Educ 2011;3(1):11-14.

Schlemmer A, Mash B. The effects of a language barrier in a South African district hospital. S Afr Med J 2006;96(10):1084-1087.

Mohamed Z, Roche S, Claassen J, Jama Z. Students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of additional language tuition in the University of Cape Town MBChB programme: A descriptive cross-sectional study. Afr J Prm Health Care

Fam Med 2019;11(1):a2121. https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v11i1.2121 10. Statistics SAS. 2018. https://www.statssa.gov.za/?page_ id=1021&id=ethekwini-municipality (accessed January 2021).

University of KwaZulu-Natal. Language policy and plan of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2006 (revised 2014). Available from: https://ulpdo.ukzn.ac.za/

Matthews M, Gokool R. Second language teaching of vocation-specific isiZulu communication skills to health sciences students. S Afr J Afr Lang 2018;38(2):149-158. https://doi.org/10.1080/02572117.2018.1463703

Diab P, Matthews M, Gokool R. Medical students’ views on the use of video technology in the teaching of isiZulu communication, language skills and cultural competence. Afri J Health Profess Educ 2016;8(1):11-14. https://doi.org/10.7196/AJHPE.2016.v8i1.402

Matthews M, Van Wyk J. Speaking the language of the patient: Indigenous language policy and practice. S Afr Fam Prac 2016;58(1):30-31. https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v58i1.4303

Mizza D, Rubio F. Creating effective blended language learning courses: A research-based guide from planning to evaluation: Cambridge University Press; 2020.

Liu M, Traphagan T, Huh J, Koh YI, Choi G, McGregor A. Designing websites for ESL learners: A usability testing study. Calico J

;25(2):207-240. https://doi.org/10.1558/cj.v25i2.207-240

Kurtz S, Silverman J, Draper J. Teaching and learning communication skills in medicine. Second ed: Oxford: Radcliffe Publishing; 2005. https://doi.org/10.1201/9781315378398

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 > >>