Recent years have seen educators at the tertiary level in Japan become increasingly concerned with the need to provide students with a more globally-oriented education, and the field of medicine is no exception. In 2015, the Japan Society for Medical English Education (JASMEE) published guidelines developed with the aim of raising the medical English proficiency of Japanese medical students to levels necessary for “meeting the global standards of medical English education”. Against this backdrop, the medical faculty at Hiroshima University has requested help with the development of their students’ English-language skills that goes beyond a basic command of English. The project described here has been driven by our success in developing and teaching an intensive English course for third-year medical students at the university, with corpus analyses and frequency-based word lists playing an integral role in materials development.
In this new project, our intention is to exploit the use of information technology at our university and create e-learning opportunities for students of medicine and other medically-related fields. In order to expand upon what can be accomplished in the classroom, we plan to build a set of online medical English materials. Targeting second-year students, the main focus of the materials will be on anatomy, supported by elements of physiology and biochemistry. In this article, we describe the initial planning for the creation of the materials, and consider how to determine the content, the type of tasks to be used, and the selection of a suitable web-based platform to deliver the materials.