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bilingual education of pharmacy


bilingual education of pharmacy

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									Bilingual Education of Pharmacy/Asian Journal of Social Pharmacy,2007,2(2)

Bilingual Education of Pharmacy
LI Xue, DING Ming-ti
(Foreign Language Department, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang 110016, China)

Objective To study the necessity and feasibility of carrying out bilingual education of pharmacy in pharmaceutical universities. Methods The literature on bilingual education of other subjects was reviewed, the latest information on bilingual education was searched through internet, our teaching experience of English and previous research were summarized, and the feasibility of conducting bilingual education for pharmacy courses was evaluated. Results and Conclusion There was an urgent need to carry out bilingual education of pharmacy not only for students’ self–development but also for the demand of our society. Conclusion: This study suggests that bilingual education would benefit both lecturers and students to improve their pharmacy knowledge and English proficiency. It should be carried out in the teaching practice of pharmacy. Keywords: bilingual education; pharmacy; language

(瀋陽藥科大學 外語教研室,遼寧 瀋陽 110016)

摘要:目的 研究在藥學專業大學裏開展雙語教學的必要性和可行性。方法 我們利用圖書館收集一些對於在其 他專業開展雙語教學的研究文章和書籍, 並且上網查找最新的研究成果。我們總結了以往的英語教學經驗和 對雙語教學的研究,就在藥學專業課推廣雙語教學進行了討論。結果與結論 雙語教學應儘早展開不僅能滿足 學生自我發展也是社會發展的需要。結論:研究表明雙語教學將會使教師和學生在藥學專業課和英語能力方面 都得受益匪淺。應當在藥學專業中開展雙語教學。 關鍵詞:雙語教學;藥學專業;語言

Bilingual education means the use of two different languages in teaching, which has been adopted in many countries around the world, including Canada, the United States, and some European countries. Quite a number of Asian countries are exploring the bilingual education
Author’s information: LI Xue, lecturer, foreign language department of Shenyang Pharmaceutical University.Tel: 13909814303, E-mail:amelia.

system, mostly using English as the second language of communication in addition to their mother tongues. Bilingual education is now a hot topic in China’s educational reform. In Beijing, Shanghai and some other cities in southern China, English teaching has been introduced to some subjects in elementary and middle schools such as mathematics, biology, history, etc. Some favorable results and experience have been achieved in those places. Currently, bilingual education has been practiced in big

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Bilingual Education of Pharmacy/Asian Journal of Social Pharmacy,2007,2(2)

cities of Liaoning province. Some universities have started new courses featured by bilingual education such as those specialized in tourism and international trade. Some local educational authorities even use bilingual education as a criterion for evaluating the performance of both schools and teachers. Now the questions are: what is bilingual education? Is it necessary to conduct bilingual education in pharmacy schools? What do lecturers and students need to prepare for it? How to solve the problems in the course of developing bilingual education?

we need are those called “compound intellectuals”, who have a specialty and are also good at foreign languages. Our country now is active to carry out bilingual education in colleges and universities. It is a quick and wise response to the trend. As quite a number of Asian countries are exploring the bilingual education system, mostly using English as the second language of communication, English is the first choice for bilingual education in China. English is an international language of today and for the foreseeable future. Foreigners will continue to come to China, and in greater numbers than ever before. We must be able to communicate with them in English. English is one of many possible keys to Western culture. English has had a huge impact on the Chinese language, and this trend will continue because English currently is a world language and it affects all other languages too. We do not know where we will be in the future. Maybe we will stay in our small city forever, but we do not know. So, it is better to prepare for that day when we might leave the city, the country and go abroad for some reason. English is the media for almost all information of today because of its international status. If we want to find information on math, physics, astronomy, psychology, engines, rocketry, drugs, criminal history, pets, architecture, music and so on, we have to search the English literature because there is more information in English than in any other languages. There are fewer resources in the Chinese literature, although this will change in the future. If you do research, you need English to dig deeper in your research; if you work, you probably also need English whenever you are to look up something. For pharmacy education and research, we should set up bilingual courses as early as possible. By combining English into the teaching of pharmaceutical courses, we will help students to obtain scientific knowledge and at the same time improve their listening, speaking and writing of English. The purpose of experimenting and implementing bilingual education is to enhance English learning, cultivate the ability of thinking in English, and nurture the environment of foreign language acquisition. This is the main purpose of bilingual education, which is based on English teaching but different from it. In addition, bilingual education can not only satisfy students’ needs for studying foreign languages and specialty at the same time but also facilitate the development of

1 Bilingual education
What is bilingual education? Bilingual education is combining 2 languages as the teaching media, in order to teach a foreign language during the course of teaching knowledge on a specialty. The goal of bilingual education is for students to grasp 2 languages; however, the approach to achieve this goal is not to teach the target language in a pure language course. That is to say, bilingual education program is not a language course; it helps learners to grasp 2 languages by teaching other subjects in school education[1]. One basic principle of bilingual education is teachers’ persistence in using the target language, whenever they convey knowledge or answer questions. Teachers should use the target language as much as possible. The advantage of doing so is to give students more chances to use the target language. What is more important and more instructive is to have students keep in touch with the target language unconsciously.

2 Bilingual education of pharmacy
Wi t h t h e c o n s t a n t i n c r e a s e o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l communication and cooperation, the world becomes a “village” in which all the countries and regions are “villagers”. As a “family” in this “earth village”, China must solve the problem of communication media— the lack of a mutually understandable language. The more we are open to the outside world, the more intellectuals we need to have who know at least one foreign language. Those people who only know a foreign language but nothing else will find it hard to be successful in a certain field. What

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personal abilities. The ultimate goal and result of individual development is to satisfy the need of social development and serve the country and people. Today the undergraduates are no longer satisfied with knowledge only in a certain field. With the introduction of more advanced foreign teaching methods and exploration of the latest research and development of their specialty in foreign countries, they keep their mind and soul closely related to the tide of development of science and technology. Bilingual education helps them to improve their ability of foreign language, especially English, so as to make their dreams come true, the dream of being a qualified “villager” in this “earth village”. If all the college students can read foreign materials without much difficulty, write research papers in a foreign language freely and communicate with foreign peers and experts without the help from an interpreter, the future of science and technology in our society and the prosperity of our economy will be beyond our imagination.

expressions. It should focus on how to organize and operate class. On the other hand, the training is on English for the teaching subject. That is to say, teachers should get familiar with special English terms used in the subject to teach.

4 How to conduct bilingual education?
4.1 Prepare lessons in English
The first step of preparation for bilingual education is to read the English original materials. During this process, teachers of bilingual education need to look up dictionaries quite often. In the beginning it will be quite troublesome, but it will get easier when the teachers get familiar with vocabulary on specialty and daily expressions. English related to a particular subject has a large amount of vocabulary of specialty. It is particular the case in pharmacy. Therefore, it will be convenient to the students if teachers give reading materials before a class, together with explanation of new vocabulary if possible. It would be better if teachers can teach some linguistics, such as wordbuilding and lexicology[2].

3 Problems to be solved for bilingual education of pharmacy
Although bilingual education is quite necessary for the teaching of pharmacy, there are some problems we should pay attention to. First is the selection of teaching materials. In bilingual education, English original teaching materials must be used in pharmacy education. Selection of proper teaching materials becomes a critical issue in bilingual education. One of the important steps is to introduce original materials into classroom teaching, plus other English materials which are suitable for students of a given specialty. In addition, teaching materials from internet can be used in class, for example, students can download free information on both home and abroad research from related web sites. Teachers may give lectures on related topics by playing original English CD_ROM they have at hand to help students to absorb and digest the knowledge they have learned in class. Second, the quality of teachers is the key to bilingual education. Besides the basic requirements for teachers, the ability of foreign language is of first priority for bilingual teachers. In order to improve their oral English, bilingual teachers should be trained first. The training mainly involves 2 aspects. On one hand, the training is on daily English

4.2 Emphasize the procedure of preview
In order to develop students’ reading ability, teachers can disseminate materials on a certain topic to students before a class for them to preview. This will help students to improve their reading ability.

4.3 Design classroom expressions
The first difficulty that students encounter in bilingual education is listening comprehension. In order to help students overcome this problem as soon as possible, teachers should design some easy classroom expressions. Those designed expressions should play at least 2 roles in students’ learning, One is that they are easy to understand to students. Meanwhile, they are of some fun, which can arouse the students’ interest and help them get into the content of teaching materials. The other is that those expressions should be closely related to teaching, which helps to absorb the content of teaching materials. As to some difficult sentences and abstract vocabulary, teachers can use

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props with bilingual explanation on them to help students to understand.

most spoken task should be done in English with a little in the mother tongue. The aim of that is to help students understand the knowledge of the subject in English. When progress has been made, teachers may add more English into their teaching. Whenever it is difficult, teachers should use the mother tongue to explain their points, perhaps together with illustrations, diagrams, etc.

4.4 Write down expressions on the blackboard
Teachers are required to get acquaintance with the English materials before class. They should manage to be familiar with English as with Chinese. For synonyms and words with multiple meanings or usage, teachers can use them alternatively so as to increase students’ vocabulary and get them familiar with multiple expressions of the same word. For abstract or difficult vocabulary, teachers can write them out on the blackboard, let students figure out its meaning. If they cannot make it, teachers may give a hand.

4.7 Give students opportunities to present
The class should be student-centered. Bearing this in mind, the teachers should leave more time for students to conduct activities. For example, they can give 3-minute presentations based on their preview of class materials; before the end of class they can give a 5-minute review of the lecture. In these exercises done by students, teachers should give immediate praise to the students’ performance with no reluctance, which will make them feel confident about themselves and be more active to take part in the class activities.

4.5 Develop good study habits
Each student is required to have a dictionary at hand in bilingual class in order to form a good study habit of looking up dictionaries. Teachers may also instruct students to make use of the internet. Teachers may provide web sites on pharmacy research and education. Students are asked to surf the internet, identify websites, enter into keywords, and download useful information. Next, they learn to sort the more important information and discard that of minor importance from all downloads. Then they’re asked to give either an oral or written report on that topic. This could be a group task or done by oneself. By following those procedures, students learn how to conduct scientific research and how to write out results of research, which forms good foundation for thesis writing in future. All the above mentioned can improve students’ English at the same time, for they have to read, write, exchange information and ideas in English with learners from all over the world.

4.8 Assign and mark homework in English
Teachers can give students assignments partly from the original textbook and the rest translated from Chinese books. Students are asked to finish their assignments in English as much as possible. When marking homework, teachers should give comments in English.

4.9 Determine the methods for assessment
The assessment of bilingual education is mainly on the students’ competency of communicating their professional knowledge in English. The mid-term test can be done through test papers assessing students’ grasp of subject, vocabulary and the ability of answering questions; the final exam will check the students’ ability of applying their specialty and writing in English with limited word counts.

4.6 Step by step to use English
It is known to all that foreign language learning depends on learners’ persistence and their knowledge accumulation. At the start, teachers may use some daily English expressions plus some vocabulary of specialty. When the students get accustomed to it, teachers may increase the use of English. Finally the teachers can reach the goal of bilingual education. During the process of teaching,

[1]卢丹怀, 双语教学面临新挑战[J], 《全球教育展望》,2001, (10):56. [2]郑定阳, 实行双语教学的初步实践与思考[J], 《高等教育研究》, 1999, (1):85-87.

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