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Simul Healthc. 2019 Feb 5. doi: 10.1097/SIH.0000000000000358. [Epub ahead of print]

Exploring the Influence of Language on Assessment Given a Mismatch Between Language of Instruction and Language of Practice.

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From the College of Pharmacy, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar.


A phenomenon is occurring in international settings where the language of program delivery and assessment does not match the primary language of practice. It is unknown whether determining competence in English disadvantages students for practice in non-English settings. As such, we conducted a pilot study to determine student performance and perceptions after completion of two Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) examinations, one conducted in English and one conducted in Arabic within an Arabic-speaking Middle Eastern setting. Twenty-two students completed both OSCEs. Overall scores were similar but student rankings differed. Students were more confident performing in Arabic, felt that the Arabic examination was more reflective of practice, and believed that use of Arabic OSCEs can promote better patient care. Findings support the notion that student success may be influenced by language of assessment and that we may need to rethink how we determine assessment validity in these emerging international education settings.

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