Reforming a Community to Serve the Underserved: ESP Modules for Midwifery Course at BRAC University
Mohammad Aminul Islam and Mohammad Golam Mohiuddin
Abstract: This paper examines the impact of an ESP course designed by BRAC Institute of Languages (BIL) for midwives to develop their English language skills, and to develop them professionally. The course is expected to reform midwives, to empower them with English language skills and professional development by taking part in global development. The community then will be able to reduce the maternal as well as newborn mortality in order to increase coverage of quality maternal and neonatal health services. The course is being offered by BRAC Institute of Global Health (BIGH) with the financial support from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID). The paper shows to what extent an English language course can help midwives in their profession where they sometimes need to interact in English with foreign doctors, write prescriptions, and other official documents in English. The study is carried out among the course teachers with almost the same experiences, exposure, and education, and among course participants with Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) backgrounds. The data and information have been deduced from a questionnaire, focus group discussions with students, and observation of their performance. The paper shows that most of the participants, having limited English language proficiency, have been able to improve their basic English communication skills. It also shows that almost all students can maintain patients’ portfolio, write prescriptions, reports, discharge certificates, and so on in English. They even feel relaxed enough to speak in English when necessary. It is suggested that ESP modules should concentrate on needs assessment to make it more productive and target oriented.
Keywords: Midwifery, English for Specific Purposes, BRAC Institute of Global Health, BRAC Institute of Languages, BRAC University
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Published in December 2015