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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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Caffeine – its impact on health

Date of Publication


Target Group


Domain Area

Medicine & Nursing

Learning Scenario

Autonomous learning
Classroom Context

Target Language


Language of Instruction

Any language

CEFR level


Type of Material

Guiding resources (online course/book)

Linguistic Features



Critical Thinking


The text accessible on a link form an online magazine offers an attractive presentation of the positive impact produced by caffeine upon the human body. It starts with a general presentation of the range of beverages containing caffeine, followed by a list of chronic diseases (such as heart diseases, diabetes, liver conditions etc.) that can be avoided or alleviated due to the use of this substance, also explaining the mechanisms behind these beneficial effects. It also lists the various components contained in coffee, thus introducing a range of vocabulary related to chemistry and biochemistry. At the end of the article, there is a list of references, demonstrating a variety of sources used for compiling the article. It also offers a model of descriptive writing for students who may want to present the risks and benefits of a particular type of food. In terms of technical complexity, the resource presents an online text without any other addition.

Case study

The resource can be used to teach specialized vocabulary from the medical field (nutritionist, sports doctor). The resource is accessible only to students who have already acquired a developed specialized vocabulary and who master the grammatical structures of the Romanian language, so we consider that the level to which it is suitable is B2-C1. The use of the resource requires intensive preparation from the lecturer, and students cannot use it independently. The resource contains specialized terms, neologisms and grammatical structures that require the lecturer's explanation. On the one hand, the resource is presented in digital format which allows the student's various ways of interaction with the material. On the other hand, the visual element is scarce. An additional form of audio/video material is required which would increase the value of this resource. Presenting the resource in the form of a power-point where specialist terms are explained through images would make the resource easier to follow. The presence of the visual element would allow a better association between the concept and the linguistic material concerned and would help the acquisition of the Romanian vocabulary. Dr. Oana Topala, The Romanian Language Institute, Bucharest, various schools in Bruxelles and Mons, Belgium


Reading comprehension, specialised vocabulary, level B1-B2
1. Teacher announces the title of the lesson – Impact of coffeine upon human health.
2. Warm-up activity. Teacher asks the following questions: What is coffeine? What foods contain this substance? Do you know what effects it has upon human health? Do you consume much coffeine? What effect does coffeine have upon you? Students diiscuss in pairs; afterwards, they present their points of view in front of the class.
3. Teacher asks each student to write down 5 key words which he/she thinks are the most important for this topic and to compose one sentence on the discussed subject with each of the respective words.
4. Teacher gives students time to read the printed article. Teacher asks students to look for the words they have written down in the text and to tell the class how many of the previously written words can be found in the text.
5. Teacher asks students to write two sentences for each of the following categories: 1. Things that I knew. 2. Things that I didn’t know. 3. Things that I don’t agree with / I have heard other opinions.
6. Free discussion. Teacher starts a free discussion based on the notes made by students.
Achieved results:
- the use of specialised vocabulary from the target field
- the development of the skill of reading a specialised text
- the accumulation of knowledge in the medical field.
Risks that have to be taken into account:
- students have to be carefully guided by the teacher in order to arrive at an efficient and useful discussion.


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


The text can be successfully used during the lessons of Romanian for the students of medical universities. The source can be successfully used during the lessons of Romanian for the medical students, level B1-B2, for the following reasons: 1. The text uses a great number of terms typical of the medical sphere (chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology). 2. The topic discussed in the article is of major interest for the younger generation who consume coffee on a daily basis/in large quantities. 3. Information is presented in a student-friendly and attractive way, thus enhancing student motivation. The text is technically accessible by both student and lecturers and the content can be used to produce various other tasks (tests, vocabulary exercises etc.)
Website of the Teaching Source: