Development of Academic Skills and Learner’s Autonomy in Medical English Courses

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Abstract

The article presents theory and practice of teaching English for Medical Purposes. In the theoretical part, our study deals with role of the teacher and aspects of the learner’s autonomy in EMP teaching, communicative approach, and the development of academic skills such as reading a scientific article, listening to lectures, and giving a presentation. The practical part is divided into three sections. Students were tested for reading and listening for specific information as well as general understanding. The main factors which caused difficulties in listening comprehension (Skills Evaluation 1) are the speaker’s rate of speech, accent, the role of a listener, the type of language used, the context of situation, background noise and visual support. The analysis of the main errors in reading comprehension (Skills Evaluation 2) showed the incorrect use of prepositions, passive voice, tenses, specific medical and academic vocabulary, and discourse markers. Assessment of the most common weaknesses in presentation skills (Skills Evaluation 3) includes lack of confidence and eye contact, overuse of haptics, fearful body posture, and the inappropriate use of paralanguage.

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