Mary Ellen Toffle
English Communication for Social and Human Services
A Cultural-Linguistic Approach
Edizione riveduta e corretta: settembre 2018
anno di pubblicazione 2017

cartaceo 360 pp

9788867890859 26,00 €
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pdf 1.8 MB

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This book gives social and human services students and professionals the opportunity to begin developing cross-cultural communication skills in the English language. The need to be able to communicate in English is becoming more and more obvious. Social workers and other human services professionals will be working with immigrants from countries where English is the official language or at least a second language (Nigeria, Ghana, The Gambia, etc). The growing numbers of English- speaking immigrants are impacting the human services fields of medicine, mental health, social work, the education systems and the legal systems all over Europe. This book is based on the European Common Framework but goes beyond a typical English language text. It focuses on the various skill sets necessary for human services professionals, including important text analysis skills as well as analytical case skills. “Soft skills” such as interpersonal skills and expressing empathy are also presented for student reflection. Students learn the principles of cross-cultural communication through Cross-Cultural Text Analysis which helps them improve their English as they develop cross-cultural awareness, sensitivity and communication skills. Students experience different cultural-linguistic contexts where they can appreciate the dynamic relationship between culture and language applied to the field of human services. For many this book will be the first step in beginning a lifetime adventure of becoming cross-cultural.

Introductory Chapter of Cross-Cultural Analysis

Overview: Introduction to social work/careers
Conversation: general knowledge of social work
Vocabulary and concepts of general social work, skills
Listening/video analysis “This could be you: the many faces of social work”
Cross-cultural video analysis
Present simple, continuous, active and passive
Reading and text analysis: different social codes of ethics for social workers
Social worker writing skills: Preliminary Report
Social worker skills: needs analysis
Case study: immigrant family from Syria

Overview: child and family services
Conversation: subjects, services and stress
Vocabulary and concepts of child and family services, challenges and empowerment
Listening/video analysis: “A Day in the Life of a Child Protection Caseworker”
Cross-cultural video analysis
Modal verbs, zero and first conditional, active and passive
Reading and text analysis: a social worker’s thoughts on child protection social work
Social worker writing skills: Placement Request Form
Social worker skills: gathering information for a child removal form
Case study: Baby Peter

Overview of school social work
Conversation: issues
Vocabulary and concepts of school social work
Listening/video analysis “A Day in the Life of a School Social Worker, Tauchiana Vanderbilt”
Cross-cultural video analysis
Past simple regular/irregular /adverbs of time/past participles/passive
Reading and text analysis/critical thinking: school social work services
Social worker writing skills: Psychosocial Assessment Form
Social worker skills: assessment, questioning techniques
Case study: Marisol, an inner city child

Overview of medical social work
Vocabulary and concepts of medical social work
Conversation: challenges of medical social work
Listening/video analysis “Public Health Social Work: Working in the World”
Cross-cultural video analysis
Future forms
Reading and text analysis: medical intercultural competence
Social worker writing skills: Medical Intercultural Competence Survey
Social worker skills: collecting information for case notes
Case Study: Mohammed Kochi, Afghan Cancer Patient

Overview of immigration, refugees, asylum
Conversation: raising consciousness on immigration
Vocabulary and concepts of immigration
Listening/video analysis “Immigration Facts and Figures”
Present perfect simple active and passive
Reading and text analysis: Canadian immigrant needs
Refugees and asylum- seeking individuals
Listening/video analysis “Global Refugee Trends”
Listening/video analysis “Stop Invasion! Thousands protest at anti -immigration rally in Italy”
Cross-cultural video analysis
Present perfect continuous
Reading and text analysis: migration policy
Social worker reading skills: legal document reading
Social worker skills: developing sensitivity
Social worker writing skills: Case Plan Format
Case: Nigerian immigrant killed in Italy

Overview of geriatrics and hospice social work
Vocabulary and concepts of geriatrics and hospice social work
Conversation: raising sensitivity and cultural reflection
Listening/video analysis “Spokane’s Hospice, a Day in the Life”
Cross-cultural video analysis
Past perfect active and passive
Past continuous active and passive
Reading and text analysis: grief and loss
Rights of older people
Alzheimer’s Disease
Social worker writing skills: Treatment Plan
Case study: Nola

Overview of disabilities social work
Vocabulary and concepts of disabilities
Conversation: focus on knowledge of disabilities
Listening/video analysis “What now? Adults with Developmental Disabilities”
Listening/video and cultural linguistic analysis: “Look at Yourself after Watching This”
Cross-cultural video analysis
Direct and indirect speech/reporting verbs/verb patterns/ reported questions
Reading and text analysis: models of disability and the role of social workers
Social worker writing skills: models of disability

Listening/video analysis: “What is the Social Model of Disability?”
Social worker skills: using the correct words/mindfulness
Social worker writing skills: Eligibility Form for Care and Support
Case study: Bette

Overview of alcohol and drug dependence
Conversation: raising consciousness about addiction, dependence, treatment and laws
Vocabulary and concepts of addiction and social work
Listening/video and linguistic analysis “What to Expect at a First AA Meeting”
Listening/video analysis: “Anyone can be Addicted to Drugs”
Listening/video analysis/ linguistic and idiomatic expressions: “Gambling 3, I’m Addicted”
Cross-cultural video analysis
Past perfect continuous
Second conditional/future certainty, probability/possibility
Reading and text analysis: substance abuse problem/ drug information/role of the social worker
Research exercise: site research
Social worker skills: drug screening and problem diagnosis
Case study: Bill
Social worker writing skills: Preliminary Case Planning

Overview of justice and corrections social work
Conversation: raising awareness of criminal justice and rehabilitation
Vocabulary and concepts of justice and corrections system work
Listening/video analysis “So you want to be a Correctional Treatment Specialist”
Listening/video analysis “What is a Correctional Counselor?”
Cross-cultural video analysis
Third conditional active and passive
Reading and text analysis: justice area of social work
Reading and comparative text reflection: Scotland vs. U.S.A
Social worker skills: empathy and presence “Carl Rogers on Empathy and Presence”
Case study: “We are all criminals”/ services recommended
Case study: three “criminals”-- people who changed their lives
Social worker writing skills: comparative case analysis
Social worker skills: expressing empathy

Overview of public policy and social activism social work
Conversation: raising consciousness about public policy as social policy, impact and change
Vocabulary and concepts of public policy and social activism social work
Listening/video analysis “Careers in Social Policy: Beyond the public sector”
Cross-cultural video analysis
Would/used to
Career exploration
Reading and text analysis: careers in social activism/policy
Cultural feasibility analysis of policy practice integration
Social worker skills: interpersonal skills
Case study: Sandra Harris -when social activism conflicts with government policy
Social worker writing skills: formal and informal letter writing

Overview of international social work
Conversation: raising awareness of NGOs, social justice, development and culture
Vocabulary and concepts of international social work and international development
Listening/video and idiomatic expression analysis “United Nations: It’s Your World”
Cross-cultural video analysis
Searching for international jobs in social work: job descriptions, requirements
Reading and text analysis: how to find a job in international social work
Critical thinking and idiomatic expressions/IFSW/AFSW
UN career opportunities for social work degree
Social worker skill: cross-cultural analysis and internet research
Social worker writing skill: summarizing
Case: Alexandra, UNICEF caseworker in Pakistan
Social worker Skill: cross-cultural analysis and problem solving

Overview of cross-cultural competency and social work
Conversation: challenges of cultural competency
Vocabulary and concepts of cross-cultural competency and social work
Listening/video analysis “Cultural Competency and Social Work”
Social worker skills: assessment, description and recommendations using adjectives of personality, physical description and emotions
Social worker skills: expressing opinions/disagreeing/negotiating
Reading and text analysis: British and U.S. social worker texts on cultural competence/cultural identity, sensitivity, diversity; cultural competence skills
Social worker skills: application of cross-cultural communication skills to real life situations
Social worker cultural competence: using Theories Frameworks-- ecological approach, strengths perspective and empowerment theory
Social worker writing skills: describing past events for case reports narration
Case: Ginger, Nigerian minor forced to be sex worker
Social worker skills: case analysis using cultural competence for reporting

Video Transcriptions
Answer Key


Mary Ellen Toffle, M.I.M. is an Assistant Professor in English Language and Translation at the University of Messina, Italy. She conducts research and teaches in the Department of Political and Juridical Sciences and the Department of Cognitive Science. She is adjunct professor at the University of Pavia where she teaches Medical English with a focus on medical cross-cultural competence. She is a volunteer researcher and internationalization consultant with the Fondazione Cecchini Pace Istituto Transculturale per la Salute in Milan where she assists in translation and transcultural linguistic research in the mental health field. She participates in humanitarian research and service projects in Africa and Bosnia. Her research areas of interest include the use of the English language and cultural values for terrorist recruitment, cultural idioms of distress expressed by immigrants, African English and Cross-Cultural Website Analysis (CCWA) applied to multimodal texts.