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2008, vol. 47, iss. 1, pp. 32-36
The cohesive role of foreign language in students adoption of medical knowledge-conjunction of classical learning and web-based learning
aUniveristy of Niš, Faculty of Medicine, Serbia
bUniveristy of Niš, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Anatomy, Serbia
Medical students, non-native English speakers, who have not been well-served by foreign language education, cannot take advantage of the educational benefits of web- based learning and benefits of scientific work. Foreign language education affects not only the language and culture of students, but also their socio-economic status and interpersonal relationship. The aim of this study was to determine the cohesive role of foreign language in students' adoption of medical knowledge and its influence on the conjunction of classical learning and web- based learning. The investigation was carried out among students of Faculty of Medicine in Nis during June, 2006. The investigation included 312 students of all study years and departments and was conducted by means of a questionnaire. Students' performance in scientific work was evaluated according to the achievements at faculty. Language literacy was evaluated according to students' ability to use and understand scientific web contents in English. Generally, the average grade of the mother tongue knowledge (including writing, and speaking skills) was higher at high educational departments compared to the College of Nursing. Writing skill was differently evaluated among departments. The highest average grade was obtained at the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacy; it was significantly lower at the Department of Dentistry and the lowest at the Department of Nursing, which was confirmed by T test. Speaking skill was the highest among medical students, significantly lower among students of dentistry and pharmacy, whereas it was the lowest among students of the College of Nursing, which represents a statistically significant finding. A very high average grade for reading skill was obtained at the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacy; it was significantly lower at the Department of Dentistry and the lowest at the College of Nursing. Listening skill was the best among medical students; it was significantly lower at the Departments of Dentistry and Pharmacy and the lowest among students of the Department of Nursing, which represents a statistically significant finding. English language knowledge highly correlates with the students' use of web sources of scientific and medical information. The highest correlation was found between speaking and reading skills and the use of web-based learning (Pearson C=0.28 and C=0.35, p<0.01), while writing skill showed no significant correlation. The satisfaction with the achievements at the faculty is associated only with the quality of oral expression in the mother tongue (Pearson C=0.18, p<0.05). Students' satisfaction with their scientific work and practical knowledge was mostly associated with good speaking and reading skills in English. The knowledge of foreign language has great impact on Internet use. The students with good English language performance more often use Internet resources for their scientific work and education. Therefore, both teachers and students need to be trained in the appropriate use of the Internet tools so that they can achieve maximal results.
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article language: English
document type: Original Scientific Paper
published in SCIndeks: 07/07/2008

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