Huma Zaidi, Omar Al Jadaan


English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses help the students to be more effective and confident in their profession. The main aim of this research was to explore the difficulties faced by students of a Medical and Health Sciences University in learning medical vocabulary which is a vital part of teaching English for Medical Purposes (EMP). It was hypothesized that students coming from non-English medium backgrounds find it difficult to understand and learn medical vocabulary due to weak linguistic skills. A questionnaire was sent to the undergraduate and post-graduate students of Medical, Dental, Pharmacy and Nursing Colleges and it was observed that the majority of students agreed that knowing medical vocabulary in English is important for their profession and students coming from Arabic medium schools find it difficult to understand and learn medical vocabulary and more than 50% use an English-Arabic dictionary. Interestingly, listening emerged as the weakest skill but 97% of participants feel that practice in hospitals can make learning the medical terms easy. Based on these findings, the authors have suggested some interactive activities that can be used in the class for better retention and made some recommendations.


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medical vocabulary, English for specific purposes, English for medical purposes, linguistic skills, retention

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