Local language proficiency of fourth-year medical students at the University of the Free State

South African Family Practice

Field Value
Title Local language proficiency of fourth-year medical students at the University of the Free State
Creator Ngobeni, Peter Sebolai, Maleho Hlotshana, Licham Henani, Tshwanelo Masango, Siphosomusa Hlongwane, Smangaliso Ngqulu, Samkelo Makhaba, Thabelo van Ramesdonk, Carl Joubert, Gina
Subject — communication; language; proficiency; medicine; student; patient; health care
Description Background: Language proficiency is beneficial for doctor–patient communication and health outcomes. Poor communication can lead to misdiagnosis by the doctor and/or non-adherence from the patient. This study aimed to evaluate medical students’ proficiency in the most commonly spoken local languages.Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the class of 119 fourth-year medical students at the University of the Free State (UFS) in 2019. Students’ proficiency was tested for Sesotho and Afrikaans, as these are the most widely spoken languages in the Free State province. The study consisted of two phases: completing a self-administered questionnaire where students self-rated their proficiency in the two languages, followed by telephonic interviews consisting of a series of proficiency-testing questions.Results: Of the 119 fourth-year medical students at UFS, 96 (80.7%) completed the self-administered questionnaires. Forty-six students (47.9%) rated themselves as either advanced or proficient in Afrikaans, whereas only 23 students (23.9%) rated themselves as advanced or proficient in Sesotho. Only 28 students were subsequently interviewed. Their actual language proficiency matched their self-rating.Conclusion: The findings suggest a need for language skills training improvement in the curriculum for undergraduate medical students for languages most commonly encountered locally. We also found that students report their language capabilities accurately.Contribution: The research findings reinforce the need for language skills training in the curriculum of undergraduate medical students regarding languages commonly encountered in the local area.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor Research Committee of the Schools of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State
Date 2023-12-21
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — —
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/safp.v65i1.5800
Source South African Family Practice; Vol 65, No 1 (2023): Part 4; 6 pages 2078-6204 2078-6190
Language eng
The following web links (URLs) may trigger a file download or direct you to an alternative webpage to gain access to a publication file format of the published article:

https://safpj.co.za/index.php/safpj/article/view/5800/8365 https://safpj.co.za/index.php/safpj/article/view/5800/8366 https://safpj.co.za/index.php/safpj/article/view/5800/8367 https://safpj.co.za/index.php/safpj/article/view/5800/8368
Coverage — — —
Rights Copyright (c) 2023 Peter Ngobeni, Maleho Sebolai, Licham Hlotshana, Tshwanelo Henani, Siphosomusa Masango, Smangaliso Hlongwane, Samkelo Ngqulu, Thabelo Makhaba, Carl van Ramesdonk, Gina Joubert https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0