Teaching English for Medical Translation: A Corpus-based Approach

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Modern Languages, University of Alcalá


Developing the appropriate linguistic and documentation skills in specialised domains is one of the greatest challenges in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses. Among other tools, corpora are intended as efficient resources students can use to improve and develop their thematic, terminological, and phraseological knowledge (Sánchez Ramos, 2020). Based on a non-experimental mixed-methods study, this paper reports the feasibility of a corpus-based approach to teaching medical translation at a postgraduate level. It analyses how a group of 40 postgraduate students at the University of Alcalá (Madrid, Spain) perceive the compilation of their own corpus and the usefulness of corpus management tools (CMTs) in solving thematic, terminological, and phraseological issues. The software LancsBox (Lancaster University) was used, which is a recently created CMT that incorporates automatic tagging, cutting-edge statistics information, and innovative visualization options. The quantitative and qualitative analyses of this data suggest that the ESP students were highly satisfied with the corpus-based approach. Our findings also reveal that postgraduate students incorporated CMTs during the whole course as documentation resources for their translation tasks, and they are willing to use them in their near future professional career. These results show the potential usefulness of CMTs and offer a way of integrating them into the ESP curriculum.