Guest Michael. Clinical Case Presentations: Аn Overview of an Exemplar Medical Speech Event


Michael Guest

Associate Professor of English, University of Miyazaki

5200 Kihara, Oaza, Kiyotake-cho, Miyazaki Pref., Japan 889-1692

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Abstract. Clinical case presentations are core medical speech events carried out in medical and teaching institutions worldwide among both students and active practitioners. While in most non-English speaking locales these events will usually be communicated in a local language they are also, on set occasions, often performed in English. In order to understand both how and why clinical case presentations are carried out in English in non-English speaking Asian locales, the author visited 8 medical universities and/or affiliated hospitals in 6 Asian countries, observing a total of 36 English clinical case presentations, followed by interviews with 25 different clinical practitioners, teachers, or medical students. The author then analyzed the collected speech event data in terms of Hymes' (1974) SPEAKING model, augmented by Swales' (1990) focus upon 'moves' in genre analysis, and further informed by Bhatia's (1994) introduction of a socio-cognitive dimension to genre analysis, in order to develop a well-rounded descriptive synoptic model of how this speech event is both perceived and performed in non-English speaking English settings. It is hoped that these insights can be further applied to the development of English for Medical Purposes (EMP) materials or curricula and that this case may serve as an exemplar for other inquiries into professional, situated ESP speech events.

Key words: academic discourse, spoken discourse, genre analysis, clinical case presentations, English for medical purposes (EMP), non-native English speakers.

Citation. Guest M. Clinical Case Presentations: An Overview of an Exemplar Medical Speech Event. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2020, vol. 19, no. 5, pp. 48-60. DOI:

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