Using Authentic Chinese Doctor-Patient Consultations to Develop Patient-Centered Communication Skills


Researchers in Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) have suggested the importance and benefits of using authentic spoken workplace discourses as teaching materials to develop students’ communication skills in professional settings. However, LSP course designers are still facing the challenges of selecting and collecting authentic workplace conversations, as well as designing instruction to teach the occupational spoken discourses effectively. To address these challenges, this paper presents an innovative module for Chinese for Medical Purposes for pre-med college students at the intermediate-high level. The module uses authentic doctor-patient consultations and adopts the Patient-Centered Clinical Method (PCCM) of Stewart et al. (2014), a clinically validated model in healthcare communication research. The current module demonstrates the approach to determine the student learning objectives based on the PCCM model and the instruction design aiming at guiding students to notice and analyze the discourse features and communication strategies employed by physicians to achieve patient-centered care. The paper also examines learners’ pre- and post-instruction roleplay performances. The qualitative findings show that the learners improved in using patient-centered communication strategies after instruction.