Potential Research Areas

Description of current projects

Project 1 – Identification and Verification of Language Requirements for Health Services to Quebec English- speaking Communities

The goal of this project is to lay the groundwork for a two-fold study: the identification of language needs for different categories of nurses, and the design of a suitable assessment tool to certify these language competences. The larger study focuses on the work of nurses in the Quebec health system in delivering service to the English-speaking communities. The purpose of the final assessment is to verify whether a candidate has reached the proficiency level that is expected to fulfill professional requirements.

Project 2 – Studies of Pain-related Language in English and French and Measures of Language Processing Fluency in the Health Communication Domain.

The goal of this project is to lay the groundwork for measures of the mental representation of pain -related vocabulary and measures of psycholinguistic processing fluency for assessing the impact of second language training given to caregivers. The project team will develop appropriate stimulus materials in English and French for use in assessment instruments that will be created. The project team will also develop software for multi-dimensional scaling studies of mental representations, and will explore testing lexical integration using the auditory gap technique.

Project 3 – Discourse Analysis of the Communication between Nurses, Palliative Care Patients and their Families in a Second Language Context

Palliative care is whole person care of patients and their families, meeting their physical, mental, psycho-social and spiritual needs, given through the medium of a human relationship. Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful culturally sensitive palliative nursing care. The goal of this project is to analyze verbal and non-verbal communication during an encounter between the nurse, the palliative care patient and his or her family where English is the nurse’s second language and the patient’s or family member’s first language. The aim of the study is to lay the groundwork for future communication studies on the quality of interaction using different tele- health technologies (such as telephone, videophone or the Internet) between nurses, patients and their family members.

Project 4 – The development of a speech recognition-based English-as-a-second-language training tool for health care givers to Quebec English-speaking communities

The goal of the project is to lay the groundwork for the development of a speech recognition-based English communication strategies enhancement-training tool for French-speaking personnel who deliver services to English-speaking Quebecers. The team will define the architecture of a prototype training module for the teaching of English communication strategies in specific care delivery contexts. By the end of the project, the team will have completed a study of the feasibility of implementing speech recognition toolkits for the teaching of English as a second language.

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