The main foreign language training objective as a subject of the general education block in medical schools is the training of practical language proficiency (colloquial and professional).
Practical lessons are given for achievement of this objective in universities. But it is impossible without students’ independent work. Academic teaching staff consultations are extremely important too. Supervised by the teachers students reinforce and deepen got through practical lessons knowledge.
Independent work of medical students provides, as a rule, mastering medical terminology, reading, translation, scientific text processing, writing of papers, search of texts and articles in medical literature, popular scientific articles from original medical and pharmaceutical magazines; performance of exercises and tasks of written character.
Independent work of medical students supervised by the teacher provides more effective preparation and quality of retention of material in comparison with the unsupervised work.
Both teachers and students prepare for giving this type of lesson. Preparation of an auditorium, training equipment, visual (teaching) aids is carried out by the teacher.
Independent work of students supervised by the teacher can be divided into three parts: introduction; students’ independent work (performance of the offered tasks) and summing up.
Introducing part has to focus students on knowledge fixing, skills working up. For example, when studying the topic “The main methods of patient work-up” the lesson can be introduced with the following questions:
1. Do you know the names of any medical machines which are used in the Radiology Department?
2. What is the difference between the Radiology and Radiotherapy departments?
3. Why are machines in the Radiology useful?
4. Why do you have to be careful when using some of these machines?
Answering the questions students have an opportunity to use the lexical and grammatical minimum in a topic studied on practical lessons, improve their skills in stating thoughts in a foreign language.
Then students can perform recommended tasks independently. Thus they choose modes of work individually, but the teaching techniques of achievement of an ultimate goal can be defined by the teacher and include sequence of studying. The tasks prepared by the teacher can be individual or for all students.
To achieve such a task as development of reading authentic profession-oriented texts skill, the text “The main methods of patient work-up” can be offered to students. The text includes information about X-radiation, CT scanner, Ultrasound, endoscopy, Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The students’ tasks are to read the text, write out new words, and do some exercises for understanding of the main idea and more detailed understanding. Such tasks as “Answer the questions”, “Complete the sentences”, “Match the beginning to the end of sentences”, “Complete the following case report” may be prepared.
Besides basic topic vocabulary, tasks for students’ independent work supervised by the teacher have to include grammar material which would be connected with this lexical topic. Students should revise the grammar rule on their own and do some exercises. Ex.
Change the following sentences from the Active Voice into the Passive Voice:
- Some of the machines use radiation.
- CT scans do not show tendons and ligaments.
- A radiographer explained the procedure of MRI thoroughly.
- A nurse is checking consent form
- A patient had removed his jewellery when a nurse came.
It is a good reason to conduct group interview or discussion of the studied material at the end of each lesson for monitoring of taking in studying material. It is possible, for example, to offer students to pass test in content of the studied topic. At first the test is solved individually and then students unite in groups and solve it together. The items having one, two, three or more right answers are offered to students’ attention. They must choose all right answers and then explain their choice. Students communicate in English, ask each other questions, and answer them. With due organization of this testing it enables not only to estimate topic knowledge but to deepen and fix it.
Ex. LABORATORY TESTS INVOLVE TESTING SAMPLES OF
5) smear for culture
MRI IS BEST FOR VISUALIZING OF
1) brain injuries
2) brain tumours
3) broken bones
4) spinal cord
5) tendons and ligaments around the shoulder and knee
6) vertebrae after an injury
The task Make up the dialogue may be another variant of monitoring. Students may be offered to make up the dialogues between patient and:
- nurse taking a patient to Radiology for an MRI;
- nurse taking a patient to Radiology for an X-ray;
- radiographer explaining the procedure of MRI.
During the lesson the teacher should supervise students’ independent work. He needs to monitor constantly, to see and to notice everything, to consult.
In final part of independent work the teacher sums up the results, reports (gives an assessment) how students worked. It is also possible to listen to certain students, their results of independent work. The main objective of summing up is to teach to analyze the course and results of work, to make the conclusions, to estimate the contents, rationally to plan educational activity.
- Алексеева Л.П., Норенкова Обеспечение самостоятельной работы студентов. Ж. «Специалист» № 6, 2005 г.
- Григорян В.Г. Роль преподавателя в организации самостоятельной работы студентов/ В.Г.Григорян// Высшее образование в России. – 2009. – №11. – C. 108-114.
- Cambridge English for Nursing, Cambridge University Press, 2010.