Hello semuanya. I am Ruth from Indonesia. I am an Indonesian who teaches English. I have to teach English for medical people who are equipped with some English already next week. I have no background of medical knowledge at all. I have checked some recommended sites for teaching medical people. My questions are: do medical students usually expect the English teachers to know about their field? Also, when students already know grammar how could someone who has no knowledge of medical field survive to teach them English? Pls help me. Would appreciate any ideas! Ruth
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I have never taught such a specialized interest group as medical people, Ruth, but in teaching Business English, I would not be able to do a good job without having some general knowledge of commercial practices and terminology. I am sure they do not expect you to have a degree in medicine, but your students may well presume that you know something of the basics. We are lucky nowadays in having information readily available on the internet, so that a little Googling before, during or after class can help us appear more educated in any field than we actually are.
Spelling corrected:

Hello Ruth. I'm also a teacher of English language at a medical university in Iran. At the beginning of my carrer, I wondered whether I had enough abilities and knowledge to teach my students and thought that it was necessary to know alot about medicine. Now that I am doing my job, I've learne that it is not absolutely necessary for a language teacher to know all the subjects to be able to teach their ESP courses. You just need to know the teaching techniques to select the best material for teaching and help your students understand them. In my classes, I ask the students a lot of questions on their fields of study and demand them to give me some information.

Please tell me about your conducting your classes. One more thing: Do you know about any Ph.d courses for ESP to medical students?
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Hi there,

Yes I agree with you that it is not absolutely necessary for a language teacher to know all subjects to be able to teach their ESP courses (quoting from your letter). However, I still think it will be good credits for the teacher if she/he can prepare themselves with sufficient knowledge of their courses. The students will feel more apreciated by then. With my EMP course, as we are focusing on the academic discussions and presentations, to me then the most difficult part is to choose suitable topics from them. I do sometimes ask them to choose their own topics from their lessons at the university (my students are doctors who are taking their specialists). My tricks are subscribing to reputable English sites like EnglishForward and medical forums (where I can get ideas for topics). There are two books which are very useful and very inspiring that I would recommend for similar course .i.e. English for Medical Professions (Lorraine Beitler and Barbara McDonald) -- good for reading skills and Professional Interactions (Candace Matthews and Joanne Marino) -- good for discussion and presentation skills.

Unfortunately, I dont know about the PHd for ESP
Hi Ruth. Saya Lenny dari Indonesia juga. I'm so glad to meet an EMP teacher from Indonesia. I'm a newbie in teaching English and i'm interested in this field of teaching coz i was a dentistry student. I think, everyone can learn these two different fields, English and medical. So, i believe that you will survive as long as you keep up-dating the medical things. And i would be very grateful if we could communicate directly by phone or e-mail. There're so much things i want to ask about EMP. And this is my email address : [email address removed by moderator]
I don't think you should be worry about it. I am a doctor and the most basic stuff for medical doctors to learn is vocabulary related about basic symptoms and how to interrogate a patient for the basic complaints. There are a lot of small manuals with common statements for english speaker medical students to learn to do that. I also recomend you to look the USMLE manuals for american medical students where you can find all the protocol that they must follow when talking to a patient. That would probably be of interest for your auditorium. I hope something of this can be useful for you.
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before you go foward finding and learn medical term and worry about it, or think what to teach ,will be beter if you analize the students need in learning,what are the main objectives from your course,how long the training will be,etc in that case you will gain more confidence and ' clear goal of yor teaching job. then you can decide to be worry or not..good luck !! from ferry, an english trainer
hello Ruth
I am George from Australia and a teacher with 4 certificates TEFL( From Business English to teaching with very limited sources as in remote desa) and have designed and prepared 3 ESP courses (HYDRAULICS-REFINERY COURSE and MEDICAL ENGLISH). But so far no language school In Indonesia is interested to take these ESP courses on., I tried from Medan to Sidoarjo, with no result. They are only interested in basic English. I would like to teach students in these fields. I also would like to start a school in these ESP topics and Business English in Bandung or Bogor.
Any one interested this is my email address: [ email address removed by moderator. Please put contact information in your profie, not in posts ]
Hi George,
I work for IALF SURABAYA (check out its website). We have so far had a variety of EMP courses i.e. not only general english. I am not really sure what you are asking here whether you want to know where to teach ESP or whether you can 'sell' your courses to a language course. Thanks for the input Emotion: smile
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