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The European sTANDEM project for certification in medical English: standards, acceptability and transgression(s)

Abstract : In the global world of international communication, employers or institutions that wish to determine the language skills of non-native speakers of English usually turn to generalist proficiency tests such as the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the slightly more business-oriented TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication). These tests enable test takers to certify that they have reached a certain level in skills needed in everyday life and, sometimes, workplace situations, but they do not assess language skills for specific purposes. Aware of this vacuum, a consortium of European teachers/researchers and international experts in the domain of medical English undertook to explore the largely unchartered territory of certification in EMP (English for Medical Purposes). They launched the EU-funded sTANDEM (sTANDardised language Examination for Medical purposes) project in 2011 with a view to evaluating and validating the specialised language skills of healthcare professionals in the fields of medicine, pharmacy and nursing. In order to provide a test tailored to the professional needs of the specialised community, consortium members revisited the normative descriptors of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and developed specifications based on specialised genres and texts. The aim of this article is to present the evolution of the sTANDEM project in the light of the standardised requirements of language certification. It addresses the question of linguistic, didactic and cultural choices and poses the problem of a common threshold of acceptability and of possible transgressions of conventional rules within the context of this European partnership.
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Contributor : Jean-Pierre Charpy <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - 1:43:20 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 26, 2020 - 11:36:04 PM


  • HAL Id : halshs-01102716, version 1



Jean-Pierre Charpy, Didier Carnet. The European sTANDEM project for certification in medical English: standards, acceptability and transgression(s) . ILCEA: Revue de l’Institut des langues et cultures d'Europe, Amérique, Afrique, Asie et Australie , ILCEA / ELLUG, 2013, Acceptability and Transgression in Specialized Language, Discourse and Cultures, 19, pp.ISBN 978-2-84310-280-6. ⟨halshs-01102716⟩



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