Towards European Language Learning for MEdical professionals

Project details:

A key European Union (EU) priority is to create ways to aid citizens' mobility. Thus the EU allows and encourages citizens to move freely in the EU. The promotion of easy access to high quality healthcare and enhancing cross-border health care are priorities currently for discussion in the European Parliament. With all the benefits of this mobility, it is still vital to keep a high standard of medical treatment. Crucial in providing this level of treatment is high-quality doctor-patient communication. Studies show that if patients misunderstand health-related issues, serious implications can result as well as increased healthcare costs. The problem is greater when there is a language barrier. This must be removed to ensure more effective health services. We aim to do this in this project by teaching vocationally-specific languages to healthcare professionals and helping them to communicate at work. To do this a consortium of 3 universities and 4 varied medical operations, all involved with training, has been carefully assembled.

The languages targeted by the project, English, Spanish and German, are among the 5 most spoken languages in Europe, so patients from one EU country seeking medical treatment in another will probably understand one of them. However, resources are lacking for teaching proper medical staff to patient communication. So our project provides self-study material for Medical English, Spanish and German aimed specifically for medics. The package involves a range of products including work-related language exercises, self-assessment tools and an interactive dictionary of key vocabulary and concepts. These will be tested out on trainees by the medical partners and disseminated to key national medical policy makers.

Our project can have an influence throughout the EU, helping both native speakers working in their own lands and also medical professionals from other EU countries who wish to work in another EU country.

Wolverhampton team
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