English program provides medical terminology lessons to non-native speakers

Guadalupe Torres is soft-spoken; her quiet, tentative, English is highlighted by a lilting Mexican accent. She appears shy, perhaps even timid. But when she last visited her doctor and her interpreter was late, she was unfazed, even eager to take on the challenge of speaking to the doctor alone. Torres was confident about navigating the health care system in the United States, all thanks to one class.

Torres is now part of a nine-member, “English for Health” class run by Literacy Network, a non-profit organization in Madison. The free class is unique in that non-native speakers learn the English language while at the same time acquiring a broad spectrum of knowledge on the nature of medication, nutrition, describing symptoms and communicating with health care providers. Students do so without the help of interpreters, learning solely through practice and demonstration.

“We bring in pictures, medicine bottles, the human organs; things that they can really see, touch and visualize. If you don’t know the language, the best way to learn is to see something and the language kind of builds around that,” said Marie Green Ganser, the…

Read more | madisonneareast.channel3000.com/news

Photo credit | Medical/Surgical Operative Photography by phalinn on Flickr

Posted on June 10, 2014 in English language

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