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ESP observation report n1

This observation was carried out at the school of medicine. The teacher in charge
was Paula Del Castillo, there were 35 students in the classroom and they were from
different years of the career since there were students from 1st to 3rd or 5th year.
The whole class involved the students to work on different reading comprehension
activities that they carried out individually or in groups. The first activity was checking a
homework assignment whose focus was on vocabulary. After reading a text in English,
students had a list of vocabulary in Spanish and they had to write the line in which they
found the word or expression. They had expressions like glndulas principales, niveles
patofisiolgicos, torrente sanguneo etc. Most of the students succeeded in doing the
task and there were not many problems. Then, students worked with a long text about
prevention. First, the teacher asked some questions about the meaning of prevention and the
types in order to activate schemata. In the first activity students worked in pairs and they
had to choose which words were associated to the text. This activity aimed at students
reading for general information. Then they carried out another activity done individually
and reading silently. In this task students had to choose the ideas that best matched what the
text said. After these activities with the text, the teacher explained the main topic -ing.
First she asked students what they associate the ing ending to, and most of them answered
they linked the ing to the gerund form of a verb. After that, the teacher explained that apart
from a gerund, the -ing can be a noun, an adjective or the infinitive form of a verb. Then
students had to read many sentences and decide what function the ing performed, whether
it was a noun or an adjective. In order to do that, students needed to translate the phrases.
They had expressions like family planning, smoking cessation, practising doctors,
and smoking is harmful, among others. This activity made students reflect upon the
different functions the ing form can take.
The first activity aimed at students reading for a specific information and looking
for the translation of different terms. The rationale for this activity may be that students
needed to learn and memorize specific vocabulary, which is common to many texts. The
rationale for the second one may be that students needed to recognise and distinguish
paraphrased ideas. In order to carry out the task, students needed to activate their previous

knowledge since they had to read and paid attention to sentences that were similar to those
of the text. As students were working with texts, the main and common objective of all the
activities was to further develop their reading comprehension skills, focusing on specific
words, and then on ideas. In the topic of ing, they worked at the level of sentences.
Students had to pay attention to the function of the ing word. This activity aimed at
students raising awareness about the different functions that the -ing can take. The rationale
for this task may be that students needed to discriminate and recognize how an ing word
functions in a text.
Throughout all the class, the teacher monitored the students and answered questions.
She highlighted the vocabulary that was important and wrote it on the board, for example
bloodstream growth development. What is more, she explained the meaning of false
cognates like several and major. She encouraged students to work both in groups and
individually and the atmosphere was quite relax. I could see that students felt comfortable
working. In some activities they were talking to other classmates and were distracted but
most of them were on task. There were some students that participated more than others but
in general, all the group did the activities. We had the opportunity to talk to the teacher and
she told us that it was very important for her to have the texts read before the class. She also
mentioned that she learned from the students a lot about the topics in the texts. She believed
the stage in the career was quite influential for students since those students from 3 rd year
onwards know more about the field and can infer much more than those that had just
begun.
I could see that teaching ESP is quite demanding since the activities and the
material have to be prepared by the teacher and it is not that easy to find interesting and
adequate material to the specific level. I believe one of the advantages is that teachers learn
a lot about the specific field. For example, the teacher observed has been working in the
school of nutrition for seventeen years and she assured that she feels much more confident
in that field for example. I learn a lot from this experience. The teacher was clear in her
explanations and was really a good help for students. She was a guide and a resource for
them as well as being the expert on language. The class demands students to be active
learners and I believe that is positive.