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Review ~ Cambridge English for Nursing Pre-Intermediate

Practical nursing language concisely presented.
Reviewed for TEFL.net by Clare Welch
Cambridge English for Nursing Pre-Intermediate

Cambridge English for Nursing Pre-Intermediate

Professional skills require specific language knowledge and it’s essential that students can express themselves clearly and unambiguously in their working lives. I can imagine few situations where it’s more important to have a firm grasp of the language than in medical contexts.

Cambridge English for Nursing is a book aimed at Pre-Intermediate level communicators. The book is carefully structured so that there is a focus on vocabulary acquisition, key expressions and terminology. There are also audio texts to practise recognising and responding to situations. There are no specific grammar reviews in the book itself, simply a focus on functional and communicative language. I particularly liked seeing development of the expressions which enable a sensitive approach, as is essential for this caring profession.

The key topics covered are as follows: Admitting Patients; Caring for Patients after an Operation; Caring for Terminally Ill Patients; The District Nurse; Helping Patients with Rehabilitation; Mobilising Patients; Medical Imaging; Helping Patients with Diabetes Management. Each of the 8 units has a medical focus, with relevant skills practised via listening activities, vocabulary exercises and authentic charts to document essential information related to patient needs. The vocabulary exercises include word-definition matching, gap fills, labelling pictures and conversation-ordering. The material is neatly presented, with clear visuals to aid vocabulary development and a range of tasks in each unit to stimulate and interest the student.

The units are stand-alone and so students can select the unit which practises what they need or tackle the units in any chosen order. This makes the book an excellent resource to dip into when specific vocabulary practise is needed or students want to review something like how to complete a food chart or a fill in a pain assessment. Checking some of the more complicated vocabulary that occurs in medical situations and which would often be challenging for a student of this language level is reasonably easy because of the thematic units. However, a complete word list at the back of the book or a full index would have been an invaluable addition to this title.

Although the book mentions online resources, the only link to the website is on the back cover of the book. A note in each unit next to the relevant activities reminding students to go online and listen to the words in the glossary and complete the additional practice materials would have been really useful – especially given the wealth of activities online, including grammar worksheets linked to each unit. Alternatively, including the (pdf) materials on the book’s CD would have been beneficial.

The book can be used as a self-study resource and comes with a CD for the audio activities as well as an answer key at the back of the book. There are, additionally, role play materials and discussion topics encouraging students to share their knowledge and experiences in each unit, so if students are studying together these offer further useful practice.

In all, I think this is a really useful resource for any student working in nursing.

Reviewed for TEFL.net by Clare Welch
April 2012 | Filed under ESP Materials

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