A communication course for a linguistically diverse student population

Am J Pharm Educ. 2007 Apr 15;71(2):36. doi: 10.5688/aj710236.


Objectives: To establish an elective course designed to improve oral communication skills of students whose first or best language or dialect is not North American English.

Design: A course that combined English as a Second Language pedagogy with pharmacy applications and content was created. Class exercises on language skills in pharmacy-specific content areas were conducted. Course evaluations were administered at the end of each course offering.

Assessment: The majority of students in the 11 sections who completed Oral Communication in Health Care improved their oral skills sufficiently to pass the exit examination and clinical courses requiring oral proficiency. Course evaluation forms show that students found this course useful, including the 15 students who took the course in fall 2005, described here.

Conclusion: An oral communication course targeted to students enrolled in a doctor of pharmacy or pharmaceutical sciences degree program whose first or best language was not English resulted in improved mastery of course outcomes and thus improved oral communication skills. As with any language acquisition process, continued practice is required to maintain proficiency.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Pharmacy / methods
  • Humans
  • Multilingualism*
  • Population Groups
  • Students, Pharmacy*