3rd International Medical English Conference
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Plenary Speaker

3rd International Medical English Conference
Exeter University, UK
Saturday 22nd September 2018 

Opening plenary speaker
Dr. Tudor Chinnah, PhD, MScClinEd, MSc, BMedSc, SFHEA

Senior Lecturer (E&S) in Human Anatomy & Clinical Education
Academic Lead, Human Anatomy


University of Exeter Medical School

Tudor Chinnah is a Senior Lecturer in Human Anatomy and Clinical Education in the University of Exeter Medical School, UK. He has worked in Nigeria as a Lecturer before coming to the UK in 1995 for his PhD at the University of Sheffield. Tudor joined the University of Exeter in 2003 from the University of Dundee, Scotland. He was directly involved in the design and development of the undergraduate innovative anatomy curriculum from when it started as the Peninsula Medical School. In his role as the International students’ academic tutor, he coordinates the provision of academic support schemes for the students. He has worked on the academic support needs of international undergraduate medical students, and evaluated the impact of English language support provisions for these group of students. He is a recipient of a Teaching Excellence Merit Award of the medical school for his contribution in International students’ academic support, including ASPIRE Senior Fellowship award and a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

Plenary Abstract

Addressing the Specific Academic Language Support Needs of International Medical Students in a Modern Medical Education Curriculum

With increasing globalisation and internationalisation, student mobility and need for income generation, most universities in the UK now seek to attract a greater number of international students. Patients’ expectations and the General Medical Council (GMC) recommendations have informed current changes in modern medical education curricula, which include new approaches in curriculum design and delivery. All international students face more challenges in their studies when compared with home students for a number of reasons. However, the contemporary medical education curriculum requires students’ early patient contact, development of scientific and reflective writing skills, small group and self-directed learning. The international medical students therefore face additional academic language difficulties related to the nature of their programme. These students’ language communications in their encounter with the locals as patients, are not just for social intercourse as would be the case for any other international students. These interactions form part of their professional curriculum training on which they are summatively assessed. Evidence suggest that international medical students underperform compared with home students, with odds of failure about 2.5 times higher.  Opinions are that far more guidance and support are required by the international medical students, but little attention has been given to their specific academic language support challenges. This presentation explores how we at the University of Exeter Medical School in collaboration with INTO are attempting to address the specific academic language support needs of international medical students.

Closing plenary speaker
Prof. John Skelton, BA, RSA Cert TEF(S)L, MA, MRCGP

Professor of Clinical Communication, and co-Director of the Interactive Studies Unit (ISU) at Birmingham University

John Skelton

John is also Associate Director of Education (Quality) in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, and has responsibility for the educational quality of all College Programmes. Other responsibilities include Director of the College Professional Support Unit, and Head of Learning and Teaching for the School of Health and Population Sciences.

He is the author of Language and Clinical Communication: this bright Babylon, which draws on his background in Applied Linguistics, and puts forward an alternative to mainstream views of teaching and research into communication for the healthcare professions. He has published in excess of 100 academic papers on aspects of clinical communication, medical education, medical humanities, and applied linguistics, with research appearing in journals as diverse as The Lancet and Applied Linguistics.

In addition,  John has a particular interest in international education, and has undertaken many short consultancies or courses around the world, mainly to evaluate language teaching programmes at overseas universities in eg Language for Medical Purposes, or to deliver direct teaching or teacher-training on language-related areas.