Acta Medica Medianae
Faculty of Medicine,
81 Dr Zoran Djindjic Street
18000 Nis, Serbia
Copyright 2006 by Faculty of Medicine, University of Nis
LITERACY AND FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHING AS KEY FACTORS FOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC ADAPTATION OF STUDENTS’ POPULATION - CHARACTERISTICS OF LITERACY AMONG DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS AT THE FACULTY OF MEDICINE
Natasa Milosavljevic 1, Dragana Spasic 2, Boris Djindjic 3 and Aleksandar Visnjic4
Institute of Pathophysiology, Faculty of Medicine, Nis 3
Public Health Institute, Faculty of Medicine, Nis 4
Language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. Reading and writing are the most powerful modes of formal learning and they are fundamental to intellectual inquiry and creativity in all disciplines. Literacy comprises not only reading and writing skills but also understanding of human communication needs and the way of social functioning. The aim of this study was to determine the importance of foreign language learning for students’ socio-economic adaptation. The study investigated the relationship between students’ foreign language literacy and their achievements in medical studies.
The investigation is a prospective study carried out among students of the Faculty of Medicine in Nis during June, 2006. The investigation included 312 students of all departments (medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and nursing) and was conducted by means of a questionnaire. We determined students’ socio-economic adaptation, literacy in the mother tongue and foreign language (reading, writing, speaking and listening), and the ability of using modern technological achievements (computer work, Internet and SMS correspondence).
Writing and listening skills of the mother tongue are significantly lower at the Department of Nursing. There is no difference in using post-correspondence among groups, whereby dentistry students most often used modern means of communication. The percentage of students satisfied with their social status is the highest among students of medicine and pharmacy and the lowest among students at the Department of Nursing. The percentage of students satisfied with the economic status is the highest among students of medicine, slightly lower among students of dentistry and pharmacy, and the lowest among nurses. The average grade of achievements at the Faculty is the highest in the group of nurses, slightly lower in the group of pharmacy, and the lowest in the group of medicine and dentistry. Generally, the grades for foreign language skills were the highest at the Department of Medicine, slightly lower at Dentistry and Pharmacy Department and the lowest at the Department of Nursing.
Social and communication competence requires not only good knowledge of the mother tongue but of foreign language as well. A major responsibility of teachers at all grade levels is to teach the language and communication skills needed for academic success, career and social mobility. Acta Medica Medianae 2007;46(1):5-10.
Key words: literacy, foreign language, teaching, communication competence