At the end of May, I was fortunate to have been invited by Ivana Campagna and Prof Agostino Mallamace (sponsored by Cambridge University Press) to the University of Messina School of Nursing. I spoke to the nursing students on 'English for Nursing today' as this is becoming more and more important in Italy. The nursing students use 'Cambridge English for Nursing' during their course so I was able to do a workshop with them to highlight a communicative approach to learning ESP.
I must say that Ivana's students are lucky to have her as a teacher as she is progressive and enthusiastic about teaching English using authentic situations and encouraging them to 'have a go at speaking' instead of passively copying down word lists.
Professor Mallamace is also an enthusiastic educator who obviously wants the best for his students. Ivana asked me whether I could gather some materials for her 'English for Rehabilitation' course for the course at the University of Messina which I have done (picture above). I have written Book 1 for physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists (a 'new' profession in Italy since 2001). Book 2 will cover rehab child psychologists,rehab psychiatrists, rehab nurses and rehab optometrists.
The ability to self publish makes it possible to create bespoke coursebooks in areas which may not normally be economically viable for larger publishers. I use Lulu to self publish as it produces good quality books and has a secure online payment system.
I started teaching OET Speaking for Nurses using a course on my school at English 360 as well as Skype lessons. Students can view preparation materials on the platform - some of which are from resources on English 360 e.g. grammar exercises or exercises from 'Cambridge English for Nursing' - before our conversation on Skype.
The OET speaking test can be a challenge as the interviewer, who plays the part of the patient, will tend to try to lead the candidate (the nurse) off on a tangent. Or, they will be difficult and refuse to accept what the nurse says. Another difficulty for candidates is the actual start of the role play. Candidates are given a list of tasks to achieve during the conversation. The first task may be 'Find out about the patient's concerns.' Sometimes the 'patient' will start speaking first but sometimes the 'nurse' has to start the conversation. This is more challenging. I have produced some hints for OET speaking on youtube (on the face book page as well) which I hope are useful.
Apart from these projects, I have a few more in the pipeline which I will leave for the next blog.