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Keywords:

  • adult education;
  • medical Spanish;
  • nonclassroom learning environments;
  • Spanish for specific purposes;
  • strategy instruction

Abstract: This qualitative case study examined the Spanish linguistic needs of working health care professionals. Data from observation field notes, interviews, document analysis, and member checks were coded, triangulated, and analyzed following the premises of grounded theory. Results indicated that participants were able to produce routinely used words and common expression in Spanish, but were only able to understand isolated lexical items as spoken by native Spanish speakers. Their needs included written resources formatted for optimal use in the health care workplace, strategy instruction for lifelong learning, listening skills and strategies, and productive skills that go beyond semantic analysis. It was concluded that there is a need for second language acquisition (SLA) models that apply to nontraditional foreign language learning environments.