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Developing a standardised language examination for medical purposes: Lessons learnt from the sTANDEM project

Mise en œuvre d’une certification standardisée en anglais médical : les enseignements du projet sTANDEM
Jean-Pierre Charpy, Didier Carnet et Michael Friedbichler
p. 9-27

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Ce document sera publié en ligne en texte intégral en mars 2022.

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Background
Anthony Saber, editor: How was the sTANDEM project initiated and what were its objectives?
Editor: Could you describe the methodology used to develop sTANDEM?
Editor: Could you describe a brief timeline of the project?
Editor: Unfortunately, the sTANDEM project did not prosper, and is not available to test takers today, although the need for medical English certification is widely acknowledged. Ultimately, why was the project not sustainable? What were the project’s merits and its possible shortcomings?
Editor: In EMP testing, should one assess medical knowledge, medical terminology or communicative skills, or all of them (or something more specific, such as the ability to show empathy, for example)?
Editor: In your view, what is the value of off-the-shelf general English certification tests used to assess the language proficiency of students receiving specialised instruction at university level?
Editor: Should ESP certification tests be based on the standards and levels of the CEFR or should they be adapted to fit specialised communicative needs and settings encountered in domain-specific contexts?
Editor: Considering that the development of ESP certification tests is a time-consuming and therefore costly task, how can the costs be contained?
Editor: Should ESP certification tests be tailored to curriculum-related learning outcomes or rather focus on the professional needs and the specialised discourse that learners are likely to encounter in their future careers?
Editor: How can ESP certification tests promote a positive washback effect and contribute to the quality of language instruction in specialised domains?
Editor: How can ESP teachers be formally trained and certified to implement and assess certification tests?
Editor: What docimological criteria should the tests be based on to ensure quality ESP certification?

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Background

The French government’s decree issued on the 3rd of April 2020, which stipulates that certification in English will be mandatory at Bachelor’s level from 2022 onward, clearly demonstrates that there is not only a real national, but also international need for English language certification. A seemingly effective way for French universities to implement the decree might be to resort to internationally-recognised general English proficiency tests; the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication), for example, might be administered to all students, including those in such domains as law or medicine, which are well-known for their highly specific language needs. This very situation and the current lack of tests in some specialised domains highlight the need for English for Specific Purposes (ESP) certification tests to be promoted and harmonised in France and beyond. This is why the lessons learnt from the sTANDardise...

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Référence papier

Jean-Pierre Charpy, Didier Carnet et Michael Friedbichler, « Developing a standardised language examination for medical purposes: Lessons learnt from the sTANDEM project »ASp, 79 | 2021, 9-27.

Référence électronique

Jean-Pierre Charpy, Didier Carnet et Michael Friedbichler, « Developing a standardised language examination for medical purposes: Lessons learnt from the sTANDEM project »ASp [En ligne], 79 | 2021, mis en ligne le 01 mars 2022, consulté le 11 avril 2021. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/asp/7331 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/asp.7331

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Auteurs

Jean-Pierre Charpy

Jean-Pierre Charpy is a retired senior lecturer in English for Medical Purposes. He used to teach EMP courses at the Dijon School of Medicine. He is affiliated with research unit EA 4182 from Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté. His research interests cover the Fasp (Fiction à Substrat Professionnel) genre, the diachronic study of medical discourse and the exploration of EMP certification. He is the co-author of L’Anglais des Spécialités Médicales (Ellipses 2015) and L’Anglais pour les Sciences de Santé (Ellipses 2019). Within the context of the sTANDEM project, he was convenor and co-head of the French-based Social Validation Board. He also supervised the organisation of sTANDEM tests in Angers and Dijon.charpyjp@gmail.com

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Didier Carnet

Didier Carnet is a senior lecturer in the English Department of the Dijon Med School, Université de Bourgogne Franche Comté, France. He holds a PhD in English applied linguistics and is affiliated with the research unit EA 4182. His main research covers didactics, discourse analysis and applied linguistics in English for Medical Purposes. He is the co-author of L’Anglais des Spécialités Médicales (Ellipses 2015), L’Anglais pour les Sciences de Santé (Ellipses 2019), and L’Anglais de la LCA sans Galère (Ellipses, 2019). Within the context of the sTANDEM project, he was co-head of the French-based Social Validation Board. He also supervised the organisation of sTANDEM tests in Créteil and Dijon.
didier.carnet@u-bourgogne.fr

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Michael Friedbichler

Michael Friedbichler is a retired senior lecturer who used to teach English for Medical Purposes at Innsbruck Medical University, Austria. Since the 1980s, he has been involved in medical translation and has served as an English language publishing consultant for biomedical researchers. His research interests focus on corpus-based translation and lexicography as well as EMP teaching and certification. He is the co-author of several learner’s dictionaries in different medical domains and language pairs: Fachwortschatz Medizin Englisch (Thieme, Germany, 3rd ed. 2016), Fachwortschatz Zahnmedizin Englisch (Thieme, Germany 4th ed. 2019), Pinkhof Medisch Engels: KWiC-Web taaltrainer en vakwoordenboek voor onderwijs en onderzoek (BSL/Springer, the Netherlands 2009), and Dictionary of English Usage in Medicine (Medical View, Japan 2012). Within the context of the sTANDEM project, he headed the team developing the listening tasks, oversaw tandem validation of the writing tasks and piloted the prototype exam for medical German in cooperation with the University of Freiburg/Breisgau.m.frydb@gmail.com

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