English For Healthcare Professionals: A Coursebook for the Medical Colleges

English For Healthcare Professionals: A Coursebook for the Medical Colleges

Жанр: Учебници
Етикети: На английски език, Студенти, Учебна дейност
Издател: Медицински университет - Пловдив
Година на издаване: 2021
Формат: А4
Обем: 188
ISBN: 9786192370862

English For Healthcare Professionals: A Coursebook for the Medical Colleges

За изданието

Автор: Ивайло Дагнев
Заглавие: English For Healthcare Professionals: A Coursebook for the Medical Colleges
Страници: 188; Формат: A4
ISBN: 978-619-237-086-2

“English for Healthcare Professionals: A Coursebook for the Medical Colleges” is the first of its kind textbook for specialties in the Medical Colleges in Bulgaria. The coursebook tries to address these specialists’ particular needs being at the same time a guidebook for all those with interests in the field – laity or professionals alike. The textbook is divided into twelve units with the first three setting up the “stage” for the following ones, which are focusing on nine specific fields in the healthcare domain. It includes Key to the exercises feature and in this way it could also be used as a self-study textbook.

Ivaylo Dagnev is a Senior Lecturer at the Medical College of the Medical University in Plovdiv. He holds a PhD in linguistics and has a vast experience in teaching English for Specific Purposes and English for Academic Purposes. His particular areas of interest include Conceptual Metaphor Theory, Translation Studies, Cognitive Semantics, Discourse Studies, English for Specific Purposes and especially English for Academic Purposes. He has also a solid background in teaching English at the secondary educational level. He is a sworn translator and interpreter. He lives and works in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.



Writing about healthcare is no doubt a tall order. The field undeniably embraces a very wide range of walks of life, not exclusively linked to providing medical services. From dietary habits to radiological technology and from sanitation to pharmacy, the label “healthcare” can be pinned on many domains, including those of medicine, social life, business, etc., using many modes of manifestation with the newly-sprung internet-engendered ones in that number. Thus, writing a textbook on this topic is virtually impossible, unless a unifying principle, an “Ariadne’s thread”, is found that cuts through all the areas related to sustaining health and life. As stated, finding such a principle is extremely difficult, but at least not theoretically implausible due to two reasons. First, the extant and still vocal claim, which has nowadays articulated the pre-eminence of and hence the need for “narrow specialists”, is definitely untenable and has fallen flat in trying to provide an educational rationale. The current pandemic is one example of this as it has necessitated the need for medical knowledge in politicians, as well as political and business competence in members of the healthcare professions. Overall, it has been proven time and again that progress is born in the realm of the specific, but is fathered by exhaustive knowledge of a variety of interdisciplinary fields. Second, the mere fact that a great number of specialties are grouped under the common healthcare denominator at medical colleges across Bulgaria is a viable proof that all the above-mentioned fields are closely-knit and form a strong bond of mutual interrelations. From that perspective, writing a textbook targeting foreign language learning in the healthcare setting is not unfounded, albeit extremely difficult. To some extent, the latter explains the fact that, to our knowledge, the current textbook, which broadly aims at covering the field, is the first of its kind, or at least the first attempt at filling this gap. Of course, full coverage is out of the question both academically and pragmatically speaking, but adopting a pragmaticum constitutum modum, reflected in the coverage of already existing specialties taught at medical colleges in the country, is well-reasoned and feasible.

Accordingly, “English for Healthcare Professionals: A Coursebook for the Medical Colleges” attempts at addressing the needs of the latter to master a foreign language, which appears to be conditio sine qua non for any development in the sphere of healthcare. In the spirit of the previously mentioned views on the knowledge and skills necessary for the healthcare professions, the textbook covers all major specialties studied at medical colleges in the country, together with a brief introduction (in the form of three units) on basic knowledge of medicine and health. Furthermore, nine staple fields of healthcare are in focus, all of which indispensable for any activity in the healthcare domain.

Target readership

The coursebook is intended to be used by a broad spectrum of healthcare professionals, but more specifically by medical bachelors. ESP textbooks for physicians, pharmacists and dental physicians are abundant on the market, with a few written by and for Bulgarians. There has been a dearth though in view of the specific needs of physiotherapists, medical laboratory technicians, radiographers, dietary instructors, sanitation inspectors, dental technicians etc. These professions have been neglected in terms of career development, academic pursuits and heavily underestimated when it comes to sharing the gravity of healthcare provision. They have their specific needs and agenda in ESP and EAP. The current coursebook tries to address their particular domains being at the same time a guidebook for all those with interests in the field – laity or professional alike. It is not meant to be a detailed textbook in any of the fields presented, as it is supposed to be used in the time slot envisaged in the context of foreign language teaching at medical colleges in the country. Normally, the subject of ESP is taught for two semesters with additional options for electives and facultative courses in senior years. The presented textbook is aimed primarily for the initial introduction into the field of healthcare in English, but could be used as a stepping stone in further courses with the necessary additions in depth and width regarding lexis and grammar.

Organisation and scope

The coursebook is divided into twelve units with the first three setting up the necessary scaffolding for the following ones, which are focusing on specific fields in the healthcare domain. Anatomy, physiology, healthcare institutions, the state of patient’s health are mandatory areas of study for all health specialists irrespective of their line of specialization. From the fourth unit onwards the textbook covers specialties such as medical laboratory technician, radiographer, assistant-pharmacist, dental technician, dietary instructor, assistant-physiotherapist and kinesiologists, inspector of public health, cosmetologist and beautician, nurse and midwife. In relation to CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) the coursebook can be situated between B1 and B2, bordering on C1 in some respects. The reason for this lies in the fact that most students enrolled at medical colleges come out of secondary school having a B1 or even a B2 level. The grammar involved is especially tailored towards laying the foundations of ESP and EAP with a view to furthering the knowledge and skills associated with academic discourse – free conversations on a topic, participation at conferences, presenting, writing academic texts. These purposes, ingrained in the coursebook, justify the elaboration of such hefty linguistic issues as register, discourse markers, etc.

The units themselves generally consist of two parts, each having a text at the head, with the first part being a more general one in scope, while the second dealing with a specific aspect of the subject in question. After each text a lexical and grammatical build-up ensues, offering opportunities for extending and expanding both the lexical and grammatical input presented prior by the text. Additionally, options for more interaction are created by sections such as FUNCTIONS, HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT and COMMUNICATION. Although following a unifying frame, the units are not identical in structure, as the different fields demand an individualizing approach in some respects.

It’s up to the lecturer’s discretion and the students’ needs to fully or partially cover all the exercises and issues in a given unit. The coursebook has been organized in such a way that the material could be customized to suit the purposes of a given course. The provision of an answer key to all exercises at the end of the textbook allows for its use as a self-study and reference source.



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