The one about the teacher who got cold feet

This is going to be like a journal entry. I am going to talk about something new and how I felt before and after the lesson. So, here goes!

My first medical English class

Before the lesson

I feel nervous and excited.

  • Nervous

I am nervous because this is the first time I have a student who wants to talk about the components of blood, clinical trials and viruses. I also have no ‘real’ idea where I am supposed to look for materials. I have been given a few suggestions, but before the actual lesson, these are unchartered waters.My learner is an advanced level learner which is a bit scary because I am the language expert, not the subject expert. This learner will probably not be making too many language errors, so where will that leave me?

  • Excited

I am excited because I have no idea what I am going to do! This is a new challenge. After 18 years of teaching, something new. This is stimulating. I will have to read up on things, I am going to learn and prepare material from scratch and this is fun. Let’s see how this goes.

My teaching context

This is an online lesson. The learner has already had English lessons with another teacher. This is a B2 level student.

My material for today

I chose to use an article from NPR about Alzheimer’s disease. The good thing about the articles I have seen so far in NPR is that they have videos as well, so your student reads the article and watches a video as well.

During the lesson

First minutes were dedicated to getting to know each other. We then started talking about what she thought the article will be about based on the title. The student then read the article, we chatted a bit about it, like a summary. I did not explain any vocabulary.  We talked about Alzheimer’s, she then wanted me to explain some of the unknown words and I did. After that she watched the video which was in the article and talked to me about it.

This was a get to know you lesson with some speaking which was based on the article/video. No homework was assigned.

Why did I choose this article?

I did not choose a medical journal to start my sessions with this learner because I wanted to get a ‘feel’ of her level. I also thought that it might be a bit hard for me as well to explain terms I did not know and I did not want to make a bad impression (teacher has to know it all syndrome. Yes, I could have prepared and found all my unknown vocabulary had I chosen a medical journal article, but I was too stressed, so I didn’t).

What’s next?

I asked my student what kinds of lessons she wants to do. She said she wants to learn a lot of terminology especially if it has to do with clinical trials and blood. So this weekend I am going to do a lot of research and try to see what I can dig up (if you have any suggestions, please leave a comment in the comments section).

This was a good lesson about a disease. It was not a medical English lesson though. I think my next lesson will be an ESP lesson cause now I know my learner’s general English capability. Time to move on to ESP.

I will share the medical English websites I find in a later post. For the moment, check out NPR if you don’t know what it is cause I like it.

2015-05-17 20.07.07

Till next time….

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