Improving clinical communication skills for international students using inclusive pedagogies

Bella Ross, Averil Grieve, Binh Ta

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


In Australia, professional health degrees have seen a rapid increase in international student numbers in recent years. The international student cohort has different needs to local student cohorts, particularly in the area of clinical
communication. This presentation reports on the findings from current research into the perspectives and experiences of clinical educators of international social work students across Australia. The research data includes 74 anonymous survey responses and 15 in-depth interviews with clinical educators across Australia.
to how they work with local students. Educators perceive that one of the biggest challenges they face when supervising international students is language and communication issues, and that they find it particularly difficult to teach communication skills to international students. Often, educators state that the extra time and support required to teach international students may deter them from accepting further international students on placements. le some clinical educators are willing to take on extra teaching work, others are not, instead insisting that the university should help develop the students' communication skills up to a certain standard before sending them on placement. Most of those surveyed, however, agree that professional development aimed at teaching international students would be beneficial and they would be interested in
receiving such training. We argue that educators should be provided with specialised training in inclusive and transcultural teaching practice developed by universities with knowledge and expertise in this field. Such pedagogies aim to address the issue of how supervision of international students is perceived. Inclusive and transcultural teaching practice positions the relationship of the student and the educators as one of mutual learning, where the responsibility to learn is shared by the student, the university, the agency and the clinical educator. The implications for healthcare communication is that international students are viewed as global citizens with valuable contributions to be made in the teaching and learning space.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sep 2018
EventInternational Conference on Communication in Healthcare 2018 - University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
Duration: 1 Sep 20184 Sep 2018


ConferenceInternational Conference on Communication in Healthcare 2018
Abbreviated titleICCH 2018


  • Social work education
  • International students
  • Clinical education

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