1 RMIT University (AUSTRALIA)
2 Monash University (AUSTRALIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN21 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 396-403
ISBN: 978-84-09-31267-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2021.0123
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
The challenges faced by nursing students from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in Australian English-speaking universities and hospitals are well known. While the students may have passed the university’s English language entry requirement, there is a need to improve their speaking and listening proficiencies further. Nursing academics have expressed concern and have raised the need to address this issue. It was observed that this is especially significant during clinical placement, where oral communication is critical. Also, students embarking initially on clinical placements find integration to the workplace most stressful. For this purpose, an emerging method to engage learners using gaming principles before placement was introduced.

Literature supports the many advantages of games as a teaching method. Its application is broad in scope and it creates an extended learning environment to enhance student learning and the student university and workplace experience. However, it is paramount that an evaluation of the potential impacts and benefits be carefully examined to maximise its use.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of a pedagogically appropriate English language development card game that is designed to address a current problem that some CALD students face. An educational card game was introduced to 35 CALD nursing students who were about to undertake their clinical placement. The objectives included: to introduce pragmatic markers; identify components of situational contexts (setting, subject matter, conversation participants); facilitate effective and confident communication; and apply their newly acquired skills during placement.

Games have been used for foreign language learning for many decades. They are used as visual aids for teaching English as a second language. The card game is designed to explore the use of English pragmatic markers (words or phrases) that are usually spoken either at the beginning or end of a sentence. The markers are verbal cues that signal or emphasise the intentions of the speaker. This method involves the language learners in a face-to-face setting to verbally express their interpretation of the information presented on the cards. Active learning and social constructivism underpin the pedagogical basis of the card game.

A qualitative descriptive approach was used to provide a full and deep understanding of the effect of card game on the participants’ oral communication skills. Their narratives are the human reality that this research attempts to describe. After the game, data were gathered utilising these questions: 1) How did the game improve your English oral communication skills? 2) How did the game impact on you? 3) How much has the game motivated you to have English conversations outside the classroom? 4) What aspects of the game did you like most? 5) What aspects of the game need improvement? and 6) How would you apply this game in class or workplace? Education content, skills development, and fun and creativity were the themes that emerged following analysis. The card game is a promising initiative to enhance the oral communication skills of nursing students from CALD backgrounds.
nursing students, culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, oral communications skills, card game, learning and teaching innovation