Learning outcomes of the course unit
Course objectives and learning outcomes
By the end of the course students are expected to be able to:
- develop attentive and critical comprehension skills; lateral thinking; active and passive listening
- acquire basic research terminology and concepts
- apply their knowledge of EMP terminology in the professional environment
- read and fully understand written medical reports
Students are supposed to have reached level B1 as described in CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)
Course contents summary
It is essential that language for specific purpose courses be based on insights into learners' actual language learning needs, which can be gained through qualitative needs analysis. Medical English is taught from the perspective of medicine and health care first and foremost while reinforcing vocabulary acquisition, grammar and structure secondly. The teacher can help students deploy background knowledge and integrate new knowledge. The students at the Faculty of Medicine, Physiotherapy Course, University of Parma are undergraduate and practicing Physiotherapists. Their demand for English is very specific. They want to communicate in English with certain groups of people about fairly specific topics. They have the need to read and write medical articles, they want to understand and participate in international conferences. Students are more motivated to learn, acquire and use language when the entire context of the learning is within the field of their interest.
Even though there are many textbooks believed to be appropriate for ESP courses, no textbook can fulfill all demands of a specific situation. For this reason, the teacher must rely on his/her own knowledge when assessing the appropriateness of the material to be used for developing students' skills. The material which is used at English for Medical Purposes course includes authentic texts, parts of General English and ESP textbooks, materials prepared by the teacher and topics and tasks related to the field of medicine, basic sciences and physiotherapy.
Course materials and methods
- Reinforcing what the learners have already learnt
- Assimilating the basics of EMP through systematic and graded practice
- Wide variety of medical vocabulary. Topics include diseases and symptoms, investigations, treatment, examining and prevention
- General medical vocabulary related to parts and functions of the body, medical and para-medical personnel, education and training, research, and presentations
- Students should be confident to understand medical-related documents, including medical scripts and reports, dialogues, etc.
- They are also expected to be able to comprehend medical cases, reports, and hospital issues related to the physiotherapy profession.
Teaching Activities, Aids and Learning Materials
- Blended Learning is generally considered to be an effective way to learn a language. Medical English requires the knowledge of a large body of specific terms which can be practiced well using on-line activities and resources, so he teacher likes to create as many teaching resources as she can using online health articles as a basis.
- Reading materials. This includes clinical concepts, articles, from top-level medical journals, medical terminology and comprehension exercises. Covering a wide range of therapeutic areas, this section helps users to develop their critical reading and analytical skills.
- Video materials of genuine doctor-patient consultations in English and of lectures and medical conferences.
- Handouts, websites, PowerPoint projector, microphone, books and journals recommended by the instructor.
- Use of the learning tools and materials which are provided in the websites and as recommended by the lecturer during the lecture.
- Scheduled lectures.
- Individual, pair and group learning and teaching tasks.
- Supplementary materials: hand-outs, leaflets, etc. provided by course instructor
- EMP glossaries and dictionaries
Assessment methods and criteria
The English teachers at the Faculty of Medicine usually have less medical knowledge that learners therefore are perceived as lay people as opposed to 'expert' students.
At the Physiotherapy Course, University of Parma, this issue is overcome thanks to the fact that the teacher has both the degrees in Physiotherapy and Foreign Languages