An Educational Intervention to Improve Cross-Cultural, Conflict Resolution Skills in Thai Medical Tourism


  • William M. Richeson


Cross-cultural Conflict Resolution, Bloom‘s Revised Taxonomy of Learning Skills, Non-Violent Communication


While low English language proficiencies create significant barriers to communication, cultural dimensions in Thai medical tourism make cross-cultural conflict resolution (CCCR) even more problematic. Previous studies and interventions in English Language Teaching (ELT), English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and Medical English Education (MEE) have focused on English language skills and cross-cultural knowledge. Significant improvements in conflict resolution skills have not been noted. This intervention integrates medical English and counseling skills. In each lesson, the instructor uses a skills scaffolding approach, and sequences learning objectives along Bloom‘s revised taxonomy of learning skills (BRT). The conflict resolution instruction and practice are based on Rosenberg‘s Non-violent Communication (NVC) protocols (2003). Participants learn and apply counseling skills via readings, role-plays, games and discussions. Conflict scenarios in medical tourism provide the primary content. The first third of the thirty, weekly, medical English and counseling workshops at Piyavate Hospital, Bangkok, and the first three study phases of six, pre-assessment, curriculum development and progress assessments of workshops one through ten have been completed. The assessment results reported here convey participants‘ conflict and cross-cultural communication values in three areas: uncertainty avoidance, conflict avoidance, and patient assertiveness. Both pre-assessment and progress assessment include completion of an eighteen- item Likert scale survey derived from Hofstede (1980), and Chareonrook (2000). This integrative approach via combined medical English and conflict-resolution training suggests ways that counseling may be integrated into Thai, medical English curriculum.

Author Biography

William M. Richeson

Lecturer, Institute for English Language Education, Assumption University, Thailand

Ph.D. Candidate in English Language Teaching, Graduate School of English, Assumption University, Thailand


How to Cite

M. Richeson, W. (2014). An Educational Intervention to Improve Cross-Cultural, Conflict Resolution Skills in Thai Medical Tourism. Scholar: Human Sciences, 3(1). Retrieved from