The pronunciation of English as a lingua franca for healthcare workers

with Robin Walker

Thursday 3 October

15:30–16:15 Part 1 – Intro to ELF (definition, ELF vs EFL, ELF and globalisation of English, ELF lexico-grammar & idiomaticity)

16:15–16:45 Break

16:45–18:00 ELF pronunciation (goals, priorities, models & methods)

18:00–18:15 Summary + Q&As

Nobody now disputes the importance of English as a language for global communication, both personal and professional, and predominantly between speakers of first language backgrounds other than English itself. Less clear to some people in ELT are the implications of the lingua franca status of English for ESP classrooms, including those for healthcare workers.

In this workshop we will start by examining what is meant by English as a lingua franca (ELF), compare ELF to EFL (English as a foriegn language), and then look at some of the key implications for the teaching of English to those who use it in ELF environments.

In the second part of the workshop, we will focus our attention on teaching the pronunciation of English in ELF settings such as healthcare. We will explore the goals, priorities and models that are relevant today for the teaching of pronunciation to healthcare workers operating in through English as a lingua franca. We will finish by looking at classroom methods and techniques for teaching ELF pronunciation, and briefly contrast these to those traditionally employed in EFL pronunciation teaching.


Roleplay in the medical English classroom

with Katharine Heathcock and John Skelton

Thursday 3 October

15:30 -17:00

This workshop will be delivered by Professor John Skelton and Katharine Heathcock, the role play manager of the Interactive Studies Team at Birmingham University’s College of Medical and Dental Sciences. They will discuss what role play is and what it is not; how it can be useful and how less so. Delegates will be shown the tools to create richly contextualised scenarios, which we will then demonstrate in practice, giving an insight into how to get the most from this methodology in the healthcare educational setting.

The Interactive Studies Team at Birmingham University’s College of Medical and Dental Sciences, founded in 1993 by EALTHY president Professor John Skelton and Dr Connie Wiskin, pioneered and developed the use of professional role play in medical and other healthcare educational programmes in the UK. IST work has been widely published.

The original role players (often known as ‘simulated patients’) were primarily actors. Our current team of over one hundred professionally trained role players is more diverse, comprising, eg, nurses, teachers, coaches, counsellors, students, pharmacists, a retired-serviceman, a martial arts instructor as well as many professional performers.  All have a serious interest in helping to develop the next generation of healthcare professionals.

We work with undergraduate and postgraduate learners in teaching and assessment. We have refined the use of this invaluable tool to give students a unique insight into their own communication, character and consultation style. In concert with the skilled application of facilitator led, self-reflective and peer observer feedback and discussion, this enables the student to progress, develop and refine their values and techniques in the medical encounter and beyond.