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Database of Teaching Sources

A database of selected, reviewed, tested, assessed and validated e-learning based language teaching sources addressed to Higher education students for the learning of 18 different European languages.

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Medlang – Palliative care

Date of Publication


Target Group


Domain Area

Medicine & Nursing

Learning Scenario

Autonomous learning
Classroom Context

Target Language


Language of Instruction


CEFR level


Type of Material

Guiding resources (online course/book)
Reference resources (online Dictionaries/ grammar guides/phrasebooks)

Linguistic Features



Critical Thinking


Born as a MOOC on 20 fundamental palliative medicine procedures, the MedLang contents are now available only as pdf and videos online. The resources can be used for autonomous learning or in the classroom settings, the exploitation of the material, though, is reduced, due to the lack of networking and online collaborative learning. However, the course is still useful in the classroom and can be of some help in autonomous learning.
Each fundamental palliative medicine procedure has a description that follows a standardised approach, with videos to illustrate how the procedure is being done, including the communication that accompanies the performance of that procedure and with a linguistic unit that practices that specialised communication flow. The interdisciplinary approach consists in the medical content fertilised by the linguistic approach. Combined knowledge and skills from the medical and linguistic fields ensue plus specialised communication skills in the domain of palliative medicine practise.
The course can improve the teaching and learning of languages and promote the EU's broad linguistic diversity and intercultural awareness; it can develop multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning and eLearning materials which support students both during their skills training and their practical module.
- Guide of 20 Medical Procedures in 6 languages, topics covered are: Catheterisation; Paracentesis; Automatic syringe; Bed transfer; Conspiracy of silence; Active listening; Communicating news; Spiritual assessment; Nutrition; Oral care; Patient bath; Pain assessment; Pain prescribing; Burn out syndrome; End of life care; Terminal phase; Prevention Ulcer; Awareness level; Patients’ network; Caregivers’ needs.
- 20 videos with simulation of palliative care procedures
- 120 language units for 6 languages (French, Dutch, Spanish, Rumanian, Italian, German)
- 2 MOOCs in the fields of palliative care and medical communication (not available)
- 7 Educational Toolkits published on hard copies with DVDs
- Project website -

Case study

Validation activities with one medical student from Israel (B2.1 CEFR level) aimed to cover one of the objectives of the Protocol Guide, collecting information on specific sectoral impacts, differences between countries and culturally specific aspects. In the validation process, the need to cover not only the professional medical use of the protocols used in real practice, but also to reflect on the multicultural environments in which the medical act is developed and to lead foreign students to identify specific cases was highlighted, so to illustrate the cultural differences from country to country.
Therefore, considering the classroom situation, the resources were used to prepare medical students linguistically and culturally by pre-adjusting the tasks of the toolkit. Being designed for use in MOOCs, the assignments were adapted to the teaching in presence environment (adaptation of the assignments and methods of execution). Once adapted, the activity began with:
- a short presentation of the new vocabulary and linguistic structures,
- first viewing of the video,
- listening comprehension
- reading and vocabulary
- exercise of interaction (reordering)
- grammar exercise
- second viewing of videos with reflections on interaction and cultural differences.
- role-play (simulation of the protocol just seen)
- writing exercise (creating your own protocol)
- test
In the self-learning situation, on the other hand, the learner will have to gather information independently, to manage to solve the language and vocabulary difficulties that s/he will encounter, in particular while listening to the videos. The result will be a very complex activity that requires advanced linguistic competence (C1-C2). The language practice exercises combined with the videos tend to be simpler than videos.


The Toolkit and MOOC (no longer available) act as independent but complementary tools to help professionals, students or the general public, to learn about palliative medicine and the associated communication. The Toolkit includes: 20 educational procedures in palliative care; 20 language learning units for medical communication; 2 DVDs with audio-visual material and additional support material (for a fee).
The users of the volume will work in blended teaching and will exploit some of the resources in digital format, others in paper format and will also benefit from the presence of the teacher.
The resource can be used by manually assembling the teaching material: selecting the video on the site and selecting the reference pages in the manual. The videos prompt important steps of the protocol, which will be useful for the student.
The teaching unit can therefore be prepared as suggested in the case study above.
Unfortunately, of the 20 videos available, only 4 are in Italian, so the teacher will have to adapt his/her teaching contents to those.


Comprehensive approach
Capacity to match the needs of lecturers and students


Added value
The provided tangible improvements


Motivation enhancement
The capacity to motivate students to improve their language skills


Effectiveness in introducing innovative, creative and previously unknown approaches to LSP learning


Measurement of the transferable potential and possibility to be a source of further capitalisation/application for other language projects in different countries


Skills assessment and validation
Availability of appropriate tools for lecturers to monitor students’ progress and for students to assess own progress and to reflect on learning


Flexibility of the contents and possibilities for the LSP lecturers to adapt the contents to their and to students’ need


Assess the technical usability from the point of view of the lecturer and the student


Assess the accessibility from the point of view of the lecturer and the student


Being the Mooc not available at the present, in the internet site Medlang, one can download the toolkit, with the contents of the course, the protocols, which are the operational material to be used by students, and, further, one can access to the list of formative videos (uploaded to Youtube). For this reason, the resources available can be used both in the classroom and in an autonomous setting (in the toolkit, the keys of the linguistic tasks are available). When used in the classroom the pedagogy can be innovative depending on the approach to the material by the lecturer. On the other hand, when in autonomous learning, the resources lack in networking and collaborative learning.
Website of the Teaching Source: