English for Medical Purposes for Saudi Medical and Health Professionals

Fahad Alqurashi


This study explored the English language needs of 156 Saudi fellowship doctors and students of medical majors who are enrolled at medical and training programs in Australian hospitals and universities. Data were collected via a questionnaire adopted from a previous study. Participants’ responses showed the most frequently used language sub-skills were those sub-skills they considered highly important. Results emphasize the findings of previous studies that learners usually attach high importance to any skills that they use frequently to help them achieve the utmost aim of improving their language abilities. In addition, the study findings suggest current college English language courses for medical majors need to focus more on improving language-related aspects like fluency, understanding, accuracy, and structure. Such changes are necessary to prepare doctors and medical professionals for work in medical jobs that depend on heavy usage of the English language and also improving communicative competence aspects to ensure smooth cultural interaction with co-workers from all around the world. The study concludes by pointing that there is a critical need to restructure English for medical purposes programs in Saudi Arabia to make better course design, content, and materials responsive to target language learners’ own future goals.

Keywords: Saudi; English language skills; Needs analysis (NA); English for specific purposes (ESP); English for medical purposes (EMP)

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