Making a Reading Passage Just That in an EMP Lesson

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Mark Rebuck, Meijo University

Reference Data:

Rebuck, M. (2016). Making a reading passage just that in an EMP lesson. In P. Clements, A. Krause, & H. Brown (Eds.), Focus on the learner. Tokyo: JALT.

This paper illustrates how a substantive content-based lesson, on the topic of diabetes, can emerge from a short reading passage. The pedagogical approach of the English for Medical Purposes (EMP) lesson described here was informed partly by a study into pharmacy students’ engagement in an EMP course. The study, briefly described in the opening, found that to engage students, lessons should be practical, relevant, and motivational and should incorporate authentic resources. The rational for teaching EMP is followed by a step-by-step description of the lesson, which serves to illustrate how students can be taken beyond working on the language in a text to exploring what a text is about. Finally, some of the issues raised by this approach are examined, including the question of the degree to which subject-specific knowledge is required to teach EMP.