English-as-a-Second Language (Esl) Nursing Students: Strategies for Building Verbal and Written Language Skills

By Guhde, Jacqueline A. | Journal of Cultural Diversity, Winter 2003 | Go to article overview

English-as-a-Second Language (Esl) Nursing Students: Strategies for Building Verbal and Written Language Skills


Guhde, Jacqueline A., Journal of Cultural Diversity


Abstract: With the growing number of foreign-born residents in the United States, nurse educators face the challenge of educating students who may have difficulty with the English language. There are an estimated 28 A million foreign-born residents in the United States, which is the largest number in the history of this country (U.S. Census Bureau, 2001). The U.S. census report (2001) shows that the Hispanic/Latino population has increased by 57.9% since 1990 and now accounts for 12.5% of the total population. Another fast growing group is the Asian population that has increased by 48.3% since 1990 and now accounts for 3.6% of the total population. The Annual Report of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN, 2001) shows that the minority representation in baccalaureate programs has also increased with the Hispanic/ Latino students at 4.8% and the Asian/Pacific Islander/Hawaiian students at 4.7% of the undergraduate nursing student population. Several authors (Abriam-Yago, Yoder, & Kataoka-Yahiro, 1999; Lester, 1998; Davidhizar, Dowd, & Geiger, 1998; Dowell, 1996; Andrews, 1992) have discussed the importance of increasing the number of ethnic minority nurses to insure the quality of healthcare to an increasingly diverse population. As the nursing shortage deepens, recruiting minorities into nursing is essential to meet the increasing demand. This change presents unique challenges and opportunities in nursing education. Colleges and universities will need to develop innovative programs to attract these nontraditional students, and support programs to help them complete the nursing curriculum.

Key Words: English-as-a-Second Language, Nursing Students, Language Skills

Malu and Figlear (1998) report that there is an increasing number of English as a Second Language (ESL) students enrolling in nursing programs. They define ESL students as a student whose primary language at home is not standard English, and therefore, may not be fluent in standard English. Many of these students have difficulty with the coursework and/or clinical work. Memmer and Worth (1991) found that ESL students have a higher attrition rate than their non-ESL peers due to failure or becoming discouraged. In another study that compares the academic characteristics of ESL and non-ESL students, it shows that ESL students are especially at risk during their first semester (Femea, Brathwaite, & AbdurRahman, 1995). Many times the academic problems are directly related to a language problem. Nursing is dependent on written communication in terms of translating doctor's orders and recording patient data. But more importantly, it is highly dependent on accurate verbal communication, since much of the information and many orders are passed on verbally. In a comparison between ESL and non-ESL students, ESL students report more difficulty in the clinical courses than non-ESL students. It has been suggested that this is due to the high level of interactive communication skills that are needed (Jalili-Grenier & Chase, 1997). ESL students also have difficulty passing the NCLEX-RN exam. Johnston (2001) reports that students whose first language was English had a pass rate between 67.77% and 95%. Students for whom English was a second language had a passage rate between 33.3% and 47%. Johnston concluded that language skills are a key factor in passing the NCLEX-RN exam.

To understand how a person learns a second language, the Cummins Model (Cummins, 1991) is useful. Cummins explains that language acquisition is divided into two types. The first is basic interpersonal communication (BICS) that comprises everyday social interactions. The second is cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP) that enables students to analyze, evaluate, and interpret abstract concepts. Although students may be proficient at the social level (BICS), they may not be able to communicate either verbally or in writing at these higher levels.

Phillips and Hartley (1990) divide language skills into four categories: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

English-as-a-Second Language (Esl) Nursing Students: Strategies for Building Verbal and Written Language Skills
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.