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CEFR Journal - Research and Practice
CEFR Journal - Research and Practice, Volume 4
Date: December 20, 2021
Title: Mediation in practice in an ESAP course: Versions of the Medical English student conference
Page: 25 - 42
Author(s): Magdalini Liontou (University of Jyväskylä) & Eva Braidwood (University of Oulu)
This article is open access and licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.
Abstract: The Medical English course at the University of Oulu (Finland), which is compulsory for 200 first-year medical students, is designed to enhance professional English language communication focusing on work life relevance. The course design utilized the action-oriented approach promoted by CEFR CV (2018), to support the active use of language through various simulation activities. This paper describes specifically the final assignment of the Medical English course, which is integrated with the Clinical Psychology course. Having discussed topics in Finnish in groups, complementing the lectures in the Clinical Psychology course, students present in English what they have learnt in these discussions in the framework of a student conference. While preparing for the conference, the students create a poster presentation in teams. During the conference, they present the posters and, thus, practice communication relevant to work life. In this assignment, they must actively apply cross-linguistic mediation and use mediation strategies to explain new concepts and simplify the source text. Traditionally, the assignment requires students to participate in a simulated real-time face to-face conference both as presenters and attendees. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we used an alternative solution: a hybrid conference of asynchronous presentations with real-time Q&A forums in online posts. The new design similarly provides students with stimuli to activate all modes of communication (production, reception, interaction and mediation) simultaneously.
This article reports on this novel solution for the assignment together with its context and the course design in relation to mediation scales and descriptors. Moreover, an analysis of the self-assessment forms between the student cohorts in 2019 and 2020 allows an insight into the learners’ experiences. The results show that students perceive the assignment as an authentic communication task, which enhances their engagement and autonomy in the learning process.
Keywords: cross-linguistic mediation, mediation strategies, pandemic, pedagogical solution, online teaching, curriculum development, CLIL
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(Last update March 6th, 2023 MGS)


This online toolkit is supported by KAKEN Grant-in-Aid project no. 20K00759, no. 19K00808 and no. 16K02835 and aims to support teachers of all foreign languages in Japan in using the CEFR and CEFR/CV efficiently.