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Are Danish doctors comfortable teaching in English?

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Background
From 2012–2015, the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and of Pediatrics at the University of Copenhagen conducted a project, “Internationalization at Home ”, offering clinical teaching in English. The project allowed international students to work with Danish speaking students in a clinical setting. Using semi-quantitative questionnaires to 89 clinicians about use of English and need for training, this paper considers if Danish clinical doctors are prepared to teach in English.

Results
The majority self-assessed their English proficiency between seven and eight on a 10 unit visual analogue scale, with 10 equivalent to working in Danish, while 15 % rated five or less. However, one-fourth found teaching and writing in English to be twice as difficult than in Danish, and 12 % rated all teaching tasks in English at four or less compared to Danish. The self-assessed need for additional English skills was perceived low.

Conclusion
Teaching in English was rated as 30 % more difficult than in Danish, and a significant subgroup of doctors had difficulties in all forms of communication in English, resulting in challenges when introducing international students in non-native English speaking medical departments.

Keywords
International students Clinical teaching Teaching in foreign language Doctors’ English skills Self-assessment
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer420
TidsskriftBMC Research Notes
Vol/bind9
Antal sider5
ISSN1756-0500
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2016

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