Teaching English for Specific Purposes Prepared by : Edward Valcárcel Melgarejo Docente de Educación en Idiomas Universidad Nacional de San Agustín de ArequipaSegunda Especialidad en Didáctica de Inglés como Lengua Extranjera
CHAPTER 3 PURPOSES OBJECTIVES1. To demonstrate theoretical knowledge of the new paradigm to teach English for some specific purposes.2. To gain skills in preparing materials to teach English for some specific purposes.
MEDICAL ENGLISHCurrent methods of instruction most commonlyused today for health professionals focus primarilyon English language while secondarily embeddinghealth care terminology in the lessons.The author has developed a new methodology: aparadigm shift. Medical English is taught from theperspective of medicine and health care first andforemost while reinforcing vocabulary acquisition,grammar and structure secondly.
Medical English cannot be taught at the level ofor in the same methods of basic Englishlanguage teaching. Career-specific, highlytechnical language must be contextually based.It is advanced English. Students come with awealth of knowledge and skills in their careerfields. The goal of learning English at this level isnot to learn grammar and structure primarily,but to acquire and use the language of practiceand social relations within the career.Contextually based learning is crucial.
Goal of CurriculumWhen the curriculum designer begins to developa course or series of courses in Medical English,he/she must consider who the students are,what their motivations will be, and identifywhich perspective they wish their teachers tohave. The curriculum framework must bedeveloped to meet the needs of the educationalinstitution, the students, relevant legislation,and any other stakeholders such as employers ofthe students.
Student MotivationResearch in the fields of adult education and theacquisition of a new language identifies thatstudents are much more motivated to learn whenthey find value in the material . When designing acurriculum for Medical English, it is important tosurvey the motives of the students. The writer hasfound these are not always the same. Somestudents pursue career-specific English course forprofessional development reasons while others takeit with the hopes of immigration. The former isgenerally more successful than the latter.
Language Acquisition versus Language LearningCurrently, language learning and language teachingis a combination of behaviourism and cognitivism.These comprise the audio-lingual method oflanguage acquisition. Teaching based in behaviouralpsychology focuses on stimulus-response-reinforcement as the method for promotinglearning. The student is presented with a great dealof material over the duration of a course, andfrequently drilled or given oral/written feedback toreinforce accuracy and skill.
There is a strong focus on repetition with the beliefthat this will create a habit of using language incertain ways: in response to certain cues. Thedrawback is that this does not foster thinking,generalization, or application of language in otherthan the structured, memorized stimulus-responseform. Many schools around the world are using thismethod for teaching Medical English. Their focus ison the presentation of reams of medicalterminology with very little application to the realworld of medical practice. In effect, it is a methodof rote memorization and the actual benefits ofacquiring language that can be used in the careerremains questionable.
Cognitivism is another theory base for the audio-lingual method of language acquisition. Also basedin psychology, this theory asserts that peopleacquire language by learning and internalizing therules of that languages structure (Harmer, 1996).The assumption is that if a student is givensufficient vocabulary they will be able to createtheir own sentences, convey messages, and makemeaning. In this method, rules become paramountand it is possible to teach language lessons basedsolely on rules and formulas. Indeed, this is a verypopular practice today. Lessons are created with afocus on the rule or structure for the day, ie: thesubjunctive clause. Any new vocabulary or exercisesare designed around identifying and using the rulecorrectly.
Acquisition is a process that occurssubconsciously and results in the actualknowledge of a language.Acquisition means that vocabulary and languageare acquired through a multitude of means, themost importance of which is access to thelanguage in use: in context.Exposure is critical.
Methodology: the new paradigmLanguage acquisition must be a combination ofacademic preparation that includes behaviouraland cognitive approaches that are secondary tothe focus or context of the lesson. The design ofEnglish for Nurses and Medical Personnelreflects this. Lessons are contextually andexperientially based to provide hands-onopportunities to apply or use the languageimmediately.
Classes are interactive and promote explorationand discovery of language through discussionsand exercises based on the focus of the lesson.The curriculum design is based on health care,not English language structure or rules. Itfollows an A - B format. Lesson A finds its focuson vocabulary presentation and acquisition.Lesson B to follow provides opportunities toapply learning from the previous lesson intocontext.
Learning activities in Lesson B can include usingactual hospital charts and forms, role-playingassessment, use of medical equipment, openexploration of treatments and interventionsrelated to the main subject. Understanding thatall students have medical backgrounds,discussions are enhanced as healthprofessionals attempt to confer and consult;sometimes debate medical-health conditionsand best practices. The structure of languageacquisition is less acute. Broken English isaccepted.
Pratt and Brookfield (2002) identify a number ofperspectives on teaching in adult education. TheTransmission Perspective is the stereoptypicview of the teacher in the classroom in whichhe/she imparts information in a top-downmethod of dissemination of material.The Apprenticeship Perspective (Pratt, et al.,2002) reflects teaching outside of the classroom.It is a process of enculturating the learner into aspecific community. This is paramount in thedesign of any Medical English course. Languagein context cannot be ignored in this highlyspecialized, career-specific focus.
ARGUMENTThe writer agrees with Swan (1997) that somestyles of speech and writing have their ownrules and structure. This is most certainly thecase in the Medical English. Health professionalsmust read, write, interpret, give directions,etcetera using a wide, wide variety ofabbreviations and acronyms that are extremelycareer-specific.
Unless one has spent time working in this field,it is almost impossible to understand this career-specific jargon. Medical English is alsocontextual. It is a language of its own. Doctorsand nurses use academic and technical languageinterspersed with common speech andworkplace jargon. It rarely focuses on completeor proper sentence structure. Indeed, charting isexpected to be brief and in cryptic form.
CONCLUSIONIn conclusion, the method of curriculum designand delivery for Medical English needs to shiftfrom the traditional audio-lingual method tobeing contextually-based and experiential. Itneeds to be delivered at the level of advancedEnglish training where focus can be dedicated tothe language of the career rather than thestructural foundations and rules of learning anew language.
ENGLISH FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTWhat is English For Economic Development?English For Economic Development is ISAIsproprietary English Learning System forsustainable development. English for EconomicDevelopment includes English for sustainabledevelopment, halting global warming, agriculturaltourism, ecotourism, tropical food production,soccer, Sports Adventure Tourism, Leucaena EffectAgroforestry, Caribbean Basin business, sportsdiversity, small scale industries, export andinternational business.
It is English reading, communicating in writing,creating English web pages on the Internet,putting together email newsletters, speakingand listening to English in business developmentin developing countries.In this English For Economic Developmentprogram you do not read poetry, discuss theclassics of literature or discus ideals. Its aboutdeveloping and using English for internationalbusiness. All scenarios and stories used will beabout international business.
ENGLISH FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT is justthat - speaking, reading, listening, and livingabout sustainable business and development.English For Economic Development has twocomponents1) Helping you as a world class entrepreneurachieve native speaker fluency in the WorldInterface Language, American English2) Helping you develop the internationalbusiness skills needed to become a world classsustainable entrepreneur
Dee Brightman (creator of English For EconomicDevelopment) says - "I have written theBUSINESS INFORMATION PART OF THESELESSONS with one objective in mind, to help youmake more money, gain wealth, power andinfluence in your country, and in thispolyeconomic world, creating, building andexpanding your polyeconomic business. You willbe able to expand as large as you desire by:
• planning• export and business development• creating long term international interactions• developing low cost entry projects• using computer and fax to access world information sources• establishing joint ventures, licensing and international investment• creating market oriented projects, products and services
Why do so many of these entrepreneurs, theirproducts and services, fails? What prevents themaximization of their business? Severalsignificant reasons include the following:• Not planning the business.• Not developing and applying an international business marketing plan.• Most developing countries are promoting export production within their countries.• Not understanding the target market consumers needs, interests and lifestyles.
• Not understanding that different approaches to marketing are required for cultures different than your own.• But most developing country entrepreneurs attempt to sell international buyers the same way they sell to buyers in their own culture.• Not finding out from buyers what they want and need both in products and services.• Not developing long term relationships with buyers and suppliers.
• Not understanding the need for outside knowledge and technology.• Trying to begin with high cost products that require extensive development costs and high tech equipment, elaborate quality control systems, high front end costs and high capital input to begin with.• Not developing your business from the very beginning to be an integral part of the developing world polyeconomy.• Not researching, finding and selecting an international information, science and technology transfer/conduit organization to be a long term working associate in their business development.