International students in speech-language pathology clinical education placements: perceptions of experience and competency development

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Date
2015-03-12
Authors
Attrill, Stacie Lorraine
Lincoln, Michelle
McAllister, Sue Margery
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Rights
© 2015 The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Rights Holder
© 2015 The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited.
Abstract
Purpose: This study aimed to describe perceptions of clinical placement experiences and competency development for international speech-language pathology students and to determine if these perceptions were different for domestic students. Method: Domestic and international students at two Australian universities participated in nine focus group interviews. Thematic analysis led to the identification of two themes shared by international and domestic students and several separate themes. Result: Shared themes identified the important influence of students’ relationships with clinical educators, unique opportunities and learning that occurs on placement. International student themes included concerns about their communication skills and the impact of these skills on client progress. They also explored their adjustment to unfamiliar placement settings and relationships, preferring structured placements to assist this adjustment. Domestic student themes explored the critical nature of competency attainment and assessment on placement, valuing placements that enabled them to achieve their goals. Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest that international students experience additional communication, cultural and contextual demands on clinical placement, which may increase their learning requirements. Clinical education practices must be responsive to the learning needs of diverse student populations. Strategies are suggested to assist all students to adjust to the professional and learning expectations of clinical education placements.
Description
This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords
clinical education, international student placement, fieldwork, competency
Citation
Attrill, S.L., Lincoln, M. and McAllister, S., (2015). International students in speech-language pathology clinical education placements: perceptions of experience and competency development. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 17(3): 314-324.