Health communication: Corpus linguistics, data driven learning and education for health professionals.

Date

2010-06-01

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

DOI

Volume Title

Publisher

Taiwan English for Specific Purposes Association

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

In this paper we describe how the advances in corpus usage in second language learning have implications for the education of health professionals. The growing understanding that practitioners in the health care disciplines must also be effective communicators means that education for these practitioners is ripe for innovation in educational practice. To illustrate what may be learned in this way, we describe some of our own investigations into the idiomatic use of a particular term which occurred frequently in one of our corpora, concerned with health enquiries directed at an online agony aunt. Those inquiring were frequently concerned with whether the issue they described was ‘normal’ yet idiomatically this was loaded with considerably more meaning than would be disclosed from a mere dictionary definition of the term. Inspection of the contexts in which it occurred suggest that ‘normal’ is a term drawn upon to mark major life transitions and to aid the identification of aspects of physical or mental health where medical intervention is merited. Normalising practices may be enabling, and part of what has been described as a process of ‘civilizing’ the body. It is through corpora such as ours that practitioners can understand the concepts employed by actual and potential clients, the medical terms used and what they likely mean, in a fruitful convergence of data driven learning and education for health care practitioners.

Description

Keywords

health communication, corpus linguistics, data driven learning, health professionals

Citation

Crawford, P. and Brown, B. (2010) Health communication: Corpus linguistics, data driven learning and education for health professionals. International English for Specific Purposes Journal, 2 pp.1-26.

Rights

Research Institute

Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care
Mary Seacole Research Centre