Welcome to the third edition to English for Health Sciences: Reading Skills, Intermediate Level! This new edition has undergone major improvements and is the product of constant revision and evaluation, not only by myself and my students, but by the many instructors who, along with their students, have used the previous edition and have contributed valuable suggestions and comments. The success of the previous edition has been due, in large measure, to the honest and careful appraisal given by language instructors and their students.
English for Health Sciences: Reading Skills, Intermediate Level is an English language text constructed for use in health colleges and institutes and adult English Language training programmes. The aim of the series is to prepare students to participate in health science courses. This text is structured at the intermediate level of students of English as a Foreign Language (EFL). It focuses on reading skills with the aim of facilitating the leap from basic English to academic English and preparing students to handle health science materials with confidence.
English for Health Sciences: Reading Skills, Intermediate Level is made up twelve units and four progress tests. To do the tests, the student has to login on to www.professorsuleimanmazyad.com using his/her username and password which he/she can create using the code that appears on the back cover of the book. Because the book’s primary purpose is to develop one’s reading ability, it offers a large variety of exercises and activities directed at reading. Each unit consists of a brief pre-reading exercise, vocabulary preview, and an exercise on skimming or scanning. Following the reading passage itself, there are post-reading exercises that focus on important reading skills: comprehension skills, getting the main idea, understanding the reading structure, understanding meaning from context, recognizing contextual reference, finding the topic and topic sentence, understanding general and specific ideas, summarizing, understanding signal words, making an outline, understanding cause and effect, comparison and contrast, classification, inference, exemplification, understanding stems and affixes, using a dictionary, increasing one’s reading speed, etc.
Each unit concludes with a discussion question designed to encourage students to think about, distill, and discuss the information they have read about throughout the unit. Sometimes the discussion deals with a topic from outside the reading. The topics have been selected from a wide range of authentic writings including health science curriculum items as well as medical journals and textbooks to serve as vehicles for developing reading with its associated skills in an interesting and informative way.
An important goal of English for Health Sciences is to help health-science students to become confident readers by increasing their vocabulary base and improving their reading skills. It engages them in the process of reading thoughtfully and encourages them to move beyond passive reading.
To the Teacher Having some idea of the subject matter is clearly an important aspect of active reading. To this end, students need to be encouraged to look at and discuss the pictures in the Before Reading and Discussion Questions sections, and to attempt to answer the accompanying questions. Answering in complete sentences is best. When tackling the reading selections themselves, students should read silently. This speeds up their reading and also closely parallels the established approach to the reading of academic texts. Encouraging the students to “unhinge” their minds from their lips – i.e., not to pronounce words as they read – is an additional means of increasing their reading speed. Not allowing them a dictionary for the initial reading will force them to extract the meanings of words from their context in the passage itself. Stress the importance of homing in on the central idea of the text. As an alternative to this approach, you may occasionally wish to read out a passage (or play a recording of it) while the students follow it in their books. Whichever approach is used, the passage should be read through in full and without explanations. The readings are followed by a variety of exercises in the After Reading section. These are intended to help students to consolidate, in English, the very same skills they are assumed to possess in their own language. Again, the emphasis is on grasping the main idea and guessing meaning from context – a sometimes bewildering but ultimately rewarding experience for those students who have developed a slavish reliance on their dictionaries. They need to learn that trying to find out the exact meaning of a word is not always necessary and can even be counter-productive if the word has subtly acquired a different shade of meaning in a new context. Although students are instructed to re-read the selection after doing the Guessing Meaning from Context exercises, towards the end of the book you might wish to consider having them mark the passage after reading it just once – an approach commonly followed in courses in tertiary education, where the sheer volume of reading to be done often limits a student to no more than a single reading of a chapter. Should you decide on more than one reading, restrict dictionary usage to an absolute minimum, often as a last resort. bIn the Getting the Main Idea sections, students practise finding the topic bsentence of a paragraph.
The Building Vocabulary exercises can be assigned as homework, but the Study Skills activities should be completed in class, particularly those dealing with increasing reading speed. Students are given free rein in practising newly-acquired vocabulary when they express their opinion in the Discussing the Reading section. This may be handled in a number of ways. For example:
- The teacher asks questions of the entire class. The advantage of this approach is teacher-control of the discussion – to direct and add to it. A common problem arises with an unresponsive group of students who may be too self-conscious to speak out.
- The students discuss answers in small groups. A representative of each group then reports the group’s findings to the entire class. For very shy students, pairs of students may be preferable.
- One selected question is chosen for a debate. The class is then divided into two teams who prepare points for their team.
Publications By Prof. Suleiman Mazyad – QELA AL ELM (QEH) FOR PUBLISHING
Publication Year 2020
An integrated textbook.