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The Experience Of Arab University Medical Students Whose Main Subjects Are Taught In English

Al-adah, Laila Mohammad Salem (2008) The Experience Of Arab University Medical Students Whose Main Subjects Are Taught In English. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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    Abstract

    The study is about the experience of Arab University students whose main
    subjects are taught in English. It investigates and discusses many English language
    problems in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in teaching, learning and studying
    medicine, pure science and technical English.

    In general, Arab learners of the English language encounter problems in the
    four skills of the English language, in speaking, writing, reading and listening. They
    also show weaknesses in many aspects of the English language such as vocabulary,
    grammar, pronunciation, spelling, morphology and syntax. The question is how these
    language difficulties affect their studies in medicine. The initial hypothesis was that
    all depended on the students’ facility in English, but this turned out not to be the case.

    The research started with the analysis of students’ written replies to
    questions. This was followed by the development of a questionnaire distributed to 736
    medical students. This explored various factors in relation to their success in exams to
    find out which factors might be significant.

    There were few correlations between success in medical exams and previous
    encounters with the English language. The one correlation between the test results and
    the questionnaire findings was not the uses of and familiarity with English but the
    parents’ background. The research therefore went on to explore, through interviews,
    and analysis of written statements, the students’ attitudes towards the teaching of
    medicine in relation to the use of the English language.

    It was found that the hypothesis of the importance of English as a prerequisite
    for success was not borne out. What was discovered was the students’ pragmatic
    attitude towards their study and that what they thought they needed as medical
    practitioners depended on a kind of secondary technical vocabulary.

    The research discusses some of the effects of learning and teaching theories
    and their relationship to the process of the education system. Whilst social
    constructivism is held to be the ideal one to apply to the learning process, this
    research demonstrated that behaviorism and rote learning still dominated the
    experience of the students in their learning of medicine. Despite their continued
    commitment to the ideals of learning English, the students took a pragmatic approach
    to their studies, which consisted of a mixture of Arabic and English medical
    vocabulary.

    Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
    Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
    L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
    P Language and Literature > PE English
    Schools: School of Education and Professional Development
    Depositing User: Graham Stone
    Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2009 10:41
    Last Modified: 28 Jul 2010 19:40
    URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/5012

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