Ros Wright, Marie McCullagh ('Good Practice') and I ('Cambridge English for Nursing') spoke on different aspects of EMP teaching. Cleve Miller (English360) spoke on using blended learning in the classroom. I was also able to give a brief overview of Vocab Trainer (www.ck-translations.eu/) during my presentation.
The focus of my presentation, 'Putting Communication First in Medical English' is the world of the overseas nurse coming to work in the UK. What are the challenges linguistically? And, more importantly... what the forthcoming language testing changes will mean for overseas doctors and nurses (that is, both EU and non-EU doctors and nurses). I believe that EMP teaching will expand a lot in the next year and so it's wise for teachers and language schools to prepare for the changes.
A few important points came out of the presentations:
1. EMP communications have a safety aspect to them - accurate communication is essential for safe practice.
2. Teachers need to remember that they are not teaching content -their students will be trained in their field already. Teachers can make use of students' expertise through 'Share Your Knowledge' sessions.
3. Teachers have a background in teaching functional language already, it's just a matter of putting the communications in context. So, 'asking for information' is put in the context of 'Pre-assessing a patient' or 'Admitting a patient' or 'Patient Interview'
4. Role plays should be part of the core of the sessions as many of the communication examples require rehearsal to ensure confidence. For example, developing confidence in performing handovers or taking messages over the phone.
5. There are many online resources which help to develop an understanding of medical terminology.
The next FREE seminar will be held on 25 Feb at the Oxford English Centre www.oxfordenglish.co.uk/ . Please see registration details on this website under 'Courses'. Hope to see you there!