English for Specific Purposes: Proposing an Innovative Approach to Teaching English to Medical Students
Abstract:
Background
English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses should empower students to satisfy their language needs. However, at many Iranian universities, these courses are mostly taught based on the Grammar Translation Method focusing on teaching grammatical rules and reading comprehension. The present study aims at proposing an innovative approach for teaching English to Medical students that can improve students’ proficiency in different language skills.
Methods
The design of this qualitative study was action research. The participants were 53 freshmen medical students studying at the Birjand University of Medical Sciences during the spring semester of 2015. A new syllabus including authentic medical materials (both visual and written) with a focus on all four language skills was designed and implemented to help the students learn English language as a whole and to become capable of producing the language on their own. During the term, learners were given the appropriate instruction on how to read, write, speak, and also watch English programs.
Results
The results indicated that by implementing this new approach, the students’ proficiency in all language skills was improved. It was also revealed that they preferred this alternative approach since it was more in line with their language needs.
Conclusions
Taking into consideration the benefits of this approach, it seems necessary for English language instructors to teach language as a whole by using authentic materials. Also, for a more effective language instruction, more multimedia devices should be provided and the class size should be reduced.
Language:
English
Published:
Future of Medical Education Journal, Volume:6 Issue: 1, 2016
Pages:
19 - 24
magiran.com/p1553878  
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