Medical students’ views on the use of video technology in the teaching of isiZulu communication, language skills and cultural competence

  • P Diab
  • M Matthews
  • R Gokool


Background. The role of communicator has been included as a key competency for health science students in South Africa. Owing to the population’s diverse language and cultural backgrounds, communication between patients and healthcare professionals is challenging. In this study, the Attention, Generation, Emotion and Spacing (AGES) neurocognitive model of learning was used as a framework to create videos for language teaching for the vocational needs of students.
Objectives. To explore students’ views on the use of videos of simulated clinical scenarios for isiZulu communication and language teaching and the development of cultural awareness.
Methods. Videos were developed using first- and second-language isiZulu speakers with scripts (verified by the university’s Language Board) based on authentic clinical settings. Videos were shown to a target group of students, who were then interviewed in focus group discussions. Audio recordings from the discussions were transcribed and analysed thematically in three categories, i.e. communication, language skills, and cultural awareness, using deductive coding based on the objectives of the research.
Results. Students affirmed numerous benefits of the videos and commented on their use and further development. Benefits described related well to the
AGES model of learning and fulfilled the learning requirements of communication teaching, language acquisition and cultural awareness.
Conclusion. The videos represent an innovative teaching method for the resource-constrained environment in which we work and are relevant to the 21st century learner. Further evaluation and development of the tool using different scenarios and African languages is recommended.


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