- Language barrier in health care
- The advantage of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
- Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the interpretation of language
- Overcoming barriers beyond the language barrier
Language barrier in health care
A lot of literature seems to focus the challenges of language barriers in the health sector, as, for example, studies that identify language barrier as a significant threat to care quality in hospitals . The adverse effects are related to the various health service processes, such as understanding, quality, and patient and provider satisfaction . In multinational corporations (MNC), non-native speakers were found to tend to communicative withdrawal that is negatively influencing content and relationships . Social isolation subsequently can lead to reinforcing the language and culture boundaries .
The advantage of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
The advantages from bilingualism are manifold; being an asset for (academic) career is one of them . Mobility and employability are further evidenced examples that can be achieved, e.g., by content and language integrated learning (CLIL) to foster not only language, but also communication and interaction skills combined with intercultural awareness . Indeed, it seems that hands-on activities and collaborative communication role-playing , or patient-centeredness, to use a health example again , even if supported by the native foreign language, are effective in overcoming language barriers . Allowing silence to support communication processing should not be forgotten too . Importantly, all begins with the proper identification of the existence of a language barrier at all . An innovative medical dictionary and tracking application is facilitating the imperative language-related data collection of foreign clients .
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the interpretation of language
For the future it is predicted that so-called SATS (Synchronous Automated Translation Systems) or even reality augmenting wearables will take out the hassle of today’s still cumbersome translation applications such as Google . Regarding the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to facilitate translation, women displayed a lower rate of technology use compared to their male colleagues . For technology to be adopted by foreign-speaking users, aids and guides should be developed  and diverse learning backgrounds supported. Barriers can also arise due to cultural differences in learning and conceptualization styles. Also, especially in rural context, it should be evaluated whether ICT even contributes to increased awareness of separation with the rest of the world . The presence of organizational codes and trade zones are examples of sub-cultures that can additionally make the interpretation of communication difficult .
Overcoming barriers beyond the language barrier
The progress in removing language barriers is for sure a great vision. However, in communication-intensive fields like social sciences (as compared to, e.g., technical engineering) , success will require more innovation. From the money-making industries relying on translation and interpretation services, some hesitance in adopting new business models might be expected. Finally, the maintenance of national borders may also use language to protect delimitations .
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