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Optimizing the Process of Teaching English for Medical Purposes with the Use of Mobile Applications

A Memrise-based Case Study

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Maria Chojnacka

The ubiquity of mobile devices has opened the way to extending learning environments far beyond the constraints of the traditional foreign language classroom. This book seeks to advance the knowledge about effective learning and teaching of English for Medical Purposes supported by mobile environments. The author investigates the effectiveness of the use of a mobile version of a flashcard spaced-repetition learning platform. In conclusion, she presents core principles of an educational solution that supports the ongoing and situated learning of English for Medical Purposes by designing a mobile spaced-repetition medical vocabulary tutor («Mobile Medical English Companion»).

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Chapter Two: Key Features of English for Medical Purposes

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2.1 Introduction

Being able to write and communicate in English has become an important predictor of a healthcare professional’s career (see the discussion in Basturkmen 2006, Ferguson 2013, Flowerdew 2013, Krickova − Polackova 2010, Parkinson 2000, Ribes et al. 2010, Taylor 2005, among others). English is undeniably “the lingua franca of medical studies and practice and (…) the command of English has become a key pre-requisite for doing clinical or theoretical research and taking part in international biomedical communication” (Charpy − Carnet 2014: 4). Being a member of a discourse community involves using its characteristic language and genres, and also sharing its values (which are reflected in its language and genres), and taking on a role recognized by other members of the discourse community (Paltridge 2012, in Parkinson 2013: 156).

It is often the case that the professional success of researchers depends on their ability to publish a paper in prestigious journals. Taylor (2005: 3) quotes a study conducted at Johns Hopkins Medical School which revealed that the number of published articles directly correlated with the likelihood of being promoted. This study was conducted in 1988, but nowadays, the “publish or perish” tendency causes even greater rise in the number of international submissions for SSCI journals, which, presumably, makes the correlation even stronger. Johns (2013: 13) highlights the importance of academics publishing in international journals to boost university rankings. Non-native authors may be at a disadvantage as far as the possibility of getting published is concerned (Anti...

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