Biljana Ivanovska PhD, German and English Language teacher Faculty ...
Biljana Ivanovska PhD,
(part-time) German and English Language teacher
Faculty of Medicine, University ‘Ss. Cyril and
Methodius’, Skopje, R.Macedonia
New tendencies in teaching
• This paper presents my two-year working
experience teaching English for specific
purposes (ESP) at the Faculty of Medicine in
Skopje, the Republic of Macedonia.
• The ‘Ss. Cyril and Methodius University” in
Skopje is the first state university in the
Republic of Macedonia which was founded in
1949 and today it represents a family of twenty-
three faculties, ten institutes and other
• As an independent faculty within the
University in Skopje it educates highly
trained professionals: doctors, graduated
nurses, graduated medical technicians,
radiographers, speech and language
therapists, psychotherapists, and its
syllabus is designed to meet the needs of
the health managing system not only in our
country but also in the west European
• The Republic of Macedonia was admitted to
the United Nations;
• -Council of Europe;
• -La Francophonie;
• -the World Trade Organization (WTO);
• -the Organization for security and
cooperation in Europe;
• -a candidate for joining the European Union
and has applied for NATO membership.
• At the Faculty of Medicine, the English, German
and the French language are taught as elective
subjects, within the syllabus designed for
foreign languages, developing 45 academic
classes in form of credit-transfer system
during the first semester in the first year of
studying. The students have the opportunity to
chose between the English, German and the
French language and those who would like to
learn English (as ESP) make a single group,
which is further subdivided into 2 subgroups.
Justification for using multimedia technology
in language programs
• Numerous researches have reported on the
theoretical constructs that support the use
of multimedia technology for EFL
instruction (in Mayora , ETF, 2006: 15). This
research shows that using multimedia
technology in the classroom:
• -allows students to work individually at a
computer station, at their own pace, and
according to their own needs;
• -helps teachers to deal more effectively
with a large group of students;
• -makes the introduction and presentation
of content more dynamic and attractive for
• -increases student motivation due to the
interactive nature of the activities;
• -trains students to self-monitor and self-assess
their progress, which promotes autonomous
• -promotes a task based approach to learning;
• -allows students to experience real-life and
communicatively meaningful language situations
and contexts; and
• -introduces a variety of print, audio, and visual
materials that match different student learning
styles and preferences.
• My experience using Internet
• Students were ask to surf the net looking for sites
they were interested in. The options such as
advances search, preferences and language tools
(which are on www-google) were previously
explained to them. I split the same group into three.
The first sub-group was searching the free on-line
medical encyclopedias, the second one the free on-
line medical dictionaries (English-English, English-
Macedonian and vice versa), and the third one the
• The suggested links were the following:
www.merck.com/mmhe/index.html ( also the web-sites of the National
University Library ‘Ss. Kliment Ohridski’,Skopje, Macedonian Central
Medical Library, the Faculty of Medicine).
– Encyclopedia Britannica -
http://www.britannica.com; Wikipedia -
Encyclopedia – http://www.bartleby.com/65;
– Internet dictionaries:
Multilingual Glossary of technical and popular
medical terms in nine European Languages
– I asked the students:
– to collect a list of topics (for example: the human body, the
locomotory system/bones, muscles, joints/, the digestive system etc.)
they want to talk about;
– to chose one particular topic they find interesting;
– to share the information they have collected and
have a discussion asking each other questions,
expressing their own views, etc.
• The application of case analysis in teaching
medical English using the article given on
proposed by Jack Kimball (an article referring to
Internet-assisted language learning “Topics in
• Students are given a certain topic, e.g.
"healthy lifestyle" and the problems and
challenges that they as future doctors have
to deal with. This is a small group activity.
The case may be introduces in various
– a lecture on lifestyle habits;
– introducing a topic with a statement;
– telling a personal story;
– referring to learners' own experience in
V a r ie t y o f n u t r ie n t s
w h o le g r a in b r e a d
fr u it s , v e g e t a b le s
m a in t a in a h e a lt h y w e ig h t
e a t m o d e r a t e p o r t io n s
e a t r e g u la r m e a ls
r e d u c e ( d o n 't e lim in a t e ) c e r t a in fo o d
m a k e c h a n g e s g r a d u a lly
s e le c t fo o d s
H e a lt h y L ife s t y le
– The first activity was reading the text: Case
report–student analysis: “Consider the case of
Hiroshi Tanaka”, which reports on a 29-year-old
Japanese computer specialist. The tasks that
were given to the students were the following:
1. Identifing the problem: Summarize the
case (the main ideas) in five sentences. Do not
draw up any solutions. Describe the character
of Hiroshi Tanaka and his everyday life and
activities. How does he should approach the
– 2. Suggesting solutions:
– Task: How would you deal with the situation if
you were Hiroshi Tanaka?
– Students were asked to assess each of the
options and list their pros and cons.
– Do you think that the solutions suggested
would produce a desirable result?
– 3. Selecting "Best " Option
– What do you think Hiroshi Tanaka should do
– How can he make sure that the situation is
– Give short review and talk about the serious
issues for Mr. Tanaka.
– Give him basic advice with detailed examples
regarding the kind of diet he should consider
– Suggest him reasons to change both his diet
and other lifestyle habits.
– The next stage was asking the students to write
an article for publication in the on-line
newsletter of the English language magazine.
The students decide on the some problems
that affect Mr. Tanaka’s health, e.g.
misunderstanding about the nutrition and
health, his life style, mental health and his
personality, clinical problems, counseling of
– Activity 4
• Aquarium or ‘fish bowl’. Five students are
sitting in the middle of a seminar room.
Around them are the others students as
observers. The teacher gives them a
certain topic, (e.g. Diabetes mellitus).
• The involved students make notes and the
observers give their personal evaluation
on this topic: agreement and/or
• Advantages :
• - the possibility for individual work;
• -acquiring practice skill;
• -many interesting materials, handouts and
• friendly atmosphere;
• -acquire some basic knowledge, learning word
processing, lurking on the Net, sending E-mail
messages to a friend;
• -able to create things and think about how to use
the basic computer programs;
• -The teaching process using Internet is very
interesting, motivating and useful.
– The teaching process is focused more and
more on student autonomy;
– The computer can be one of the possible
helping aids with its flexibility, variability,
– Atlases and encyclopaedias offer an enormous
amount of beautifully presented information,
– Students also improve their linguistic features:
discourse, functional, structural and lexical.
– students are not strictly focused on the
– the information and the tips are on the screen
together with explanations and the answers;
– technical problems may unexpected occur and
the students expect the teacher to solve them.
• - some students may be not feeling
confident enough in front of machine;
• -although they enjoy the learning process
but sometime, students and teachers feel
frustrated, helpless and need time to
overcome the psychological barrier when
working with these machines.
– students might get lost in details and become
obsessed with multimedia facilities (pictures,
video, sound), lose focus, and need more time
– the students might get lost in details and
become obsessed with multimedia facilities
(pictures, video, sound), lose focus, and need
more time for task.
– Teachers and students have no limits to their access of
learning. It is worth experimenting and investigating
the potentials Internet can offer.
– I personally believe in the statement given by the
former president of the United States Bill Clinton:
”Technology is reshaping our world at an astounding
speed” (WHPR, 1995c) the meaning of which was
adjusted to our needs in the same article by Pedroni
(1996, 2): “We, as teachers need to restructure our
philosophy of teaching”.
• Major, E. 1998. Experiences in using computer in the language classroom. Paper
presented at the Conference on Foreign language for specific purposes. Varna,
• Pandora, D., eds. 2000. Medicine and dentistry: ESP English for specific purposes.
Skopje: ‘Cyril and Methodius’ University Press.
• Pedroni, E. G. 1996. The importance of the world wide web in education K-12. (August): 1-7.
• Mayora A. Carlos 2006. Integrating multimedia technology in a high school EFL program.
English teaching forum. 2006Vol. 44 nr. 3, pp 14-21.
• Kimball J.: Task-based medical English: Elements for internet–assisted language