Developing Communicative Competence in Students of Higher Medical Schools

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Abstract

Communicative competence has been the central point of a great number of English for specific purposes (ESP) studies. However, its relevance to second language acquisition by medical students and attainability are still to be established as the critical evaluation of the present findings may help to create a valuable inventory for practical use in a classroom. The review set out to explore the present-day concept of communicative competence with regard to ESP teaching and ways of its development in students of medical universities. It analyzed the structure of the concept of communicative competence generally viewed as comprising both linguistic and extralinguistic constituents. Special emphasis was placed on the aspect of enhancing competitive competence through students’ involvement in oral communication. One of the most effective ways of developing communication skills in ESP classes in medical schools is exposure to authentic communication using Internet facilities. The videos should be thematically adjusted to the students’ professional needs and correlate with their level of linguistic and professional expertise. This approach helps to accomplish a number of teaching goals such as providing students with the information about the framework of speech events iterative in medical and academic spheres, communication patterns used in them, and raising their professional and socio-cultural awareness. It also aims to develop their ability to perform speech activities within a wide range of professional and academic contexts. The review made it possible to identify efficient reproductive and productive teaching methods to be employed.

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