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Spanish for Dental Professions. Katya M Hall Pacific University College of Health Professions New Course - Considerations. Have/acquire the proper background Perform a needs analysis Consider the learner at every stage Evaluate, adapt and/or create material

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Spanish for dental professions

Spanish for Dental Professions

Katya M Hall

Pacific University

College of Health Professions

New course considerations
New Course - Considerations

  • Have/acquire the proper background

  • Perform a needs analysis

  • Consider the learner at every stage

  • Evaluate, adapt and/or create material

  • Request feedback

Needs analysis
Needs Analysis

  • Students’ lang. & comm. needs -> curriculum

    • Interviews

      • Sponsors

        • Program Director

        • Clinic Coordinator and Faculty

      • Prospective Learners

    • Observations

      • Tour clinic

      • Observe daily routines

      • Check for use of interpreters

      • Note any social language students might need

    • Lang. Assessments

Director requirements
Director - Requirements

  • 30 students – two groups

  • 12 weeks - 2 hours a week with each group

  • Dental Health tailored curriculum

  • Importance of Spanish within healthcare

  • Diversity of the Hispanic population

  • Cultural aspects inclusion

  • Interpreters’ role

Clinic coordinator faculty requests
Clinic coordinator / Faculty - Requests

  • Order of Patient Care (OPC) to:

    • Confirm appointments on the phone

    • Greet patient by name

    • Complete medical and dental histories

    • Inform patients about their vital signs

    • Give instructions to perform x-rays & assessments

    • Discuss findings from assessments with patients (consent form signature)

    • Tell the patient what procedures they will need to take

    • Say farewell to the patient

Student needs
Student - Needs

  • Dental terminology

  • Social language

  • Cultural insights

The syllabus
The Syllabus

  • Interactive/dynamic = practical

    • Need to be willing to change

  • General statement of objective

    • The course will develop the skills needed to understand and communicate in Spanish at a beginner levelwithin the dental health care environment…

  • Unit specific objectives-OPC based


  • Mid-term written and oral exams (interview with the instructor)

  • Final written and oral exam(interview with the instructor)

  • Vocabulary pop-quizzes

Student developed material role play
Student Developed Material - Role-play

  • DHS: Soy la higinista dental que voy a trabajar con usted hoy. Siéntese, por favor.

  • P: Gracias…

  • DHS: ¿Se lava los dientes?

  • P: Sí, me lavo los dientes.

  • DHS: ¿Cuántas veces al día se cepilla los dientes?

  • P: Me cepillo los dientes dos veces por día.


  • Theme: Dental Findings

  • Objective: SWAT communicate findings to the patient

  • Content: findings – terminology and structures

  • Material: dental pathology model, handouts, projector, board

  • Activity:

    • Present new material with dental pathology model.

    • Write phrases on the board.

    • Pronounce the new vocabulary: caries – cariado

    • Ask students to repeat after you.

    • Write examples on the board to explain grammar:

      • estar + adjective : El diente está cariado.

      • TENER (to have) + noun : Tiene caries.

    • Provide an illustration for students to name the findings.

    • Role-play


  • Course Evaluations by students

    • Midterm – Feedback

      • What are some features of the course that you think are working pretty well?

      • What are some possible changes or additions you would like to see incorporated into the course from this point forward?

    • Final Instructor and Course DHS evaluations

  • Course assessment summary and action plan

    • Strengths

    • Weaknesses

    • Future Plans

      • Start

      • Stop

      • continue


  • Students can go over the OPC in Span.

  • Less use of interpreters

  • Students perform dental education in Span.

  • Syllabus flexible enough to accommodate students’ needs

  • Cultural awareness: patient loyalty

  • A plus when students applied for jobs


  • Variety of language competence levels among the students

  • Students do not see the importance of the class until they go into the clinic

  • First clinic experiences and Dental Spanish classes run simultaneously

  • Material development – time consuming

  • Cultural component – Hispanic representative of the population of the area ideal

Next steps
Next Steps

  • One year of college Spanish will be required from students

  • A review Medical Spanish class will be offered in the Fall

  • Dental Health Education activity will be their final oral examination.

  • Continue assessing and adapting in accordance to students’ needs

  • Hybrid environment: incorporate technology to the traditional classroom environment