I am preparing to present a few sessions at an EMP Teacher Training Seminar with Ros Wright and Marie McCullagh. It's what you'd call a niche course in a sense because it will be very intimate (8 participants) and because we believe we are providing information which has either not been provided to teachers before or hasn't been provided in our style. Ros, Marie and I have presented together at seminars and workshops before, most recently during the UK taster sessions for EMP teaching. Participants at the sessions in Wimbledon,Cambridge,Oxford and Glasgow (which I ,unfortunately, could not attend ) came from varied backgrounds. Teachers who had already taught EMP classes, those who were lining up to teach EMP classes and DELTA students who wanted to use an EMP teaching example in their assignments.
I have been writing EMP books and self publishing on Lulu for a few months now and am starting to see the benefits of being able to put what I want in a book rather than what the publisher wants. The down-side is of course that sometimes the editor and publisher know better . I can hear Jeremy Day, my editor for the 'Cambridge English for Nursing' books, nodding and murmuring in the background as I suggest that the 'editor may know best'.
Having said that, I feel that I have made a few changes in my thinking about what is needed in an EMP course which is being taught to doctors and nurses who are about to start work in an English-speaking hospital. Note that I restrict my comments to this use of EMP. There are many other needs for EMP which is why an initial needs analysis is vital. More about that in a later blog.
I still work as an RN in the south-west of England in NHS hospitals. I feel that I want to make use of my knowledge of the sort of workplace language which is needed to be able to fit into what is an alien environment. I even find differences from nursing practice in Australia - some of the terms are a bit different, some of the equipment is a bit different. For this reason, basic communication skills must form the groundwork of an EMP course e.g language used to give instructions, pass on information, ask for clarification etc. You always need to be able to ask for guidance and ensure that you understand what is expected of you. However, a knowledge of hospital terms and jargon is also needed. I am now leaning towards providing this kind of practice in my EMP books - a niche market within a niche market, if you like.
But, back to my self-published materials. What I have done is collect articles and excerpts from my books which form a collection of background readings for the sessions I will present. I have developed some activities as well. I know how difficult I find the management of handouts at seminars and hope to avoid this using a book which collects them all together. I am able to keep the book private until and unless I want to publish it. I pay for the printing of the book and the postage which is not excessive and I hope I will have a product which the participants at the session will appreciate. Of course, they will be the guinea pigs and I will value their honest feedback.
co-author of 'Cambridge English for Nursing' Pre-Intermediate and Intermediate+
- Medical English: Spelling