Welcome to the second edition of Academic Listening for Health Professions, Elementary Level. This new edition is the product of constant revision and evaluation, not by me, but by the many instructors who, along with their students, have used the previous edition and have sent in valuable suggestions and comments. The success of the previous edition has been due, in large measure, to the honest and careful appraisal given by instructors and their students.
Academic Listening for Health Professions, Elementary Level is the first in a series of English language texts designed for use in health colleges, institutes and adult English-language training programmes. This volume consists of eight units organized around selected rhetorical functions: general ideas, specific information, classification, definitions, chronological order, cause and effect, comparing and contrasting, and processes and procedures. The book is aimed at Arab students who are at an elementary level of English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Each unit is graded from listening at sentence level to listening to a short passage, and aims at developing students’ skills in listening in Medical English. Prelistening and postlistening activities are included in each unit. The book is accompanied by one CD.
Organization of Units
Each of the eight units consists of the following sections:
Some questions to discuss orally in order to give learners an idea of the subject matter and prepare them for listening.
A list of five to eight vocabulary items that appears undefined in the listening. They are briefly defined in the preview and are accompanied by sentences with missing words to be filled in. Brief definitions are sometimes given on the tape, in which case the student listens to the talk and then writes a short definition for each item.
Listening passages are given by a variety of native speakers of English. The vocabulary, structure, content variation, redundancy, and rhetorical style of each passage have been carefully chosen and designed. The talks, organized around specific rhetorical functions, include general ideas, specific information, classification, definitions, chronological order, cause and effect, comparing and contrasting, and processes and procedures.
A variety of listening exercises that focus on listening skills as related to the rhetorical function being focused on. These include making an outline which is partially completed in order to lay out the rhetorical structure of the talk.
Written-exercise types on the specific rhetorical function to help the listener reconstruct important information from the talk.
Rationale for the Course Design
Listening to sentence-level material and short passages trains elementary students in listening skills relevant to the rhetorical function under consideration.
Materials are controlled for concept-redundancy. Each passage contains a limited number of ideas that the listener retains. Support for these key ideas (that is, redundancy) comes in the form of rewordings, examples, clear transition markers, and summarizing.
Because of the graded use of language within the talks, learners acquire the ability to process spoken language for increasingly longer spans of time – a highly desirable target.
In order to ensure a high degree of comprehension and monitoring of passage, a large percentage of content words need to be readily understood. The topics chosen for the talks have, therefore, been made as tangible as possible, with the vocabulary kept within an elementary-level word-frequency range.
Finally, an important skill for students is note-taking, by which they spot the main points of a talk and write them down in note form. These notes help the listener to remember the main points of the talk.
Note-taking is an individual activity, so one person may have difficulty understanding another person’s notes. The activities in this book should help the student take down clearer, more concise notes. In further activities, the learner is often asked to complete the notes.
UNIT 1: GENERAL IDEAS
UNIT 2: SPECIFIC INFORMATION
UNIT 3: CLASSIFICATION
UNIT 4: DEFINITIONS
UNIT 5: CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
UNIT 6: CAUSE AND EFFECT
UNIT 7: COMPARING AND CONTRASTING
UNIT 8: PROCESSES AND PROCEDURES
Academic Listening for Health Professions, Elementary Level, Second Edition