Learning English medical terminology is a challenge for students studying healthcare courses. While Japanese students have learnt to commit lists of vocabulary to memory in order to pass exams, memorization alone is insufficient for understanding and using the hundreds of terms that they encounter in their medical English classes. As someone who teaches medical topics in English to pharmacy students, the presenter has found etymology to be integral to medical-English education. Strictly speaking, etymology is the study of the origin and history of words, but it is used here to include the study of word-formation (morphology). Using examples from his lessons, the presenter will discuss how etymology can make the learning of medical terminology more interesting and meaningful. For example, one of the effects of aspirin is pain relief, or analgesia. The root of this word (from the Greek algos) is also found in “nostalgia” (ノスタルジア), which originally described the pain of being away from home. Linking hitherto unfamiliar medical terms to words used in general English and/or Japanese is one way etymology can make words more salient. The presenter will also describe how, for teachers too, a thorough understanding of the backstories of medical words is advantageous (one reason being that it is an indication of teacher expertise that impresses students). The presenter will introduce useful resources for teaching etymology, and time will be left for participants to pool—a verb which, incidentally, is not connected to water or swimming—suggestions on teaching etymology. Learning English medical terminology is a challenge.
Mark Rebuck, Meijo University, Japan
About the Presenter(s)
Mr Mark Rebuck is a lecturer at Meijo University in Japan
See this presentation on the full schedule – Saturday Schedule