alcohol abuse I wondered, with my teaching hat on, how the news of Whitney
Houston's death could become a lesson for EMP students. Students coming to a
class after hearing of disasters or sudden deaths are understandably distressed
and unable to concentrate on the planned lesson. So it's wise to have an
'emergency lesson' up your sleeve.
Drug and alcohol issues are a significant part of healthcare in all
countries, in one form or another. Potential discussions are:
What is the drug of choice in your country?
Is alcohol abuse a problem in your country?
What programmes are in place to deal with D&A abuse?
Vocabulary revision incluses phrases such as:
D&A (drug and alcohol)
illicit or illegal drugs
to dry out
to go 'cold turkey'
It's a good opportunity to practise communication frameworks such as:
giving an opinion (e.g on treatment choices for drug addicts)
speaking at a team meeting (e.g to decide options for a patient with chronic
Supporting students in their ability to speak at a Team Meeting is very
important as this can be daunting. The Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT - a variety
of healthcare professionals who are looking after a particular patient) will
meet to discuss particularly difficult cases which require the input of several
workers. During the meeting, there is a need to:
summarise the patient's past history
describe current status
describe the home situation
give opinions on the patient's ability to cope at home
Practising Team Meetings can be done effectively using role play after giving
each group a scenario (case file) to work with. With more able students, time
can be given to prepare the role play so that students can research authentic
materials such as information about rehab places and medication information.
It's also a good idea to have a think about the structure of groups and
issues such as 'turn taking'. Activities where students identify themselves with
a particular Team Member personality can be quite a lot of fun. For example,
activities which present a series of animals which students identify with and
then explain why. For example; 'I chose the lion because I like to be the centre
of attention in a team meeting' etc.
Encourage students to develop a glossary of the terms which they use during
their Team Meeting and encourage them to put them in context (in a sentence).
The way this can be done can be seen on a website called Vocab Trainer. By
putting the terms in context, they become more meaningful. The glossaries can be
used as a basis for worksheets which are easily produced using resources on
websites such as Tools for English.com
Finally, help students develop strategies to manage their involvement in team
meetings. For example, how to ask for clarification, how to ask speakers to slow
down, how to alert other team members that you are very nervous!