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Business English, Professional English, Legal English, Medical English, Academic English etc.
Online peer-reviewed Journal for Teachers

English for Specific Purposes World (ESP World)

English for Specific Purposes World

ISSN 1682-3257

English for Specific Purposes World (ESP World) Home    Information   ESP Encyclopaedia    Resources    Contacts

English for Medical Students and the Myth of Native Models Superiority

Elham Abdullah Ghobain

Lecturer, Jazan University, Saudi Arabia

45142, Gizan, P.O.Box 992, Saudi Arabia

Grami Mohammad Grami

Assistant Professor, Department of European Languages, King Abdulaziz University

80202, Jeddah, 21589, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Many second language learners have the belief that ‘native’ models of language are the only appropriate means of communication completely ignoring the fact they themselves interact in a non-native context and English as an International Language (EIL) or English as Lingua Franca (ELF) models are increasingly predominant in the globalised world. Our study investigates three broad concepts; the expectation of medical students, the paradigm of teaching English in medical schools, and EIL alternative option available to students. We aim to answer three questions: what are medical students’ attitudes towards different models of English? Which model is most appropriate for them and why?, and to which extent are students aware of their future needs in terms of language? Data was collected using questionnaires and interviews with medical students in the medical school of a Saudi university. The study found that in terms of pronunciation, students preferred native models citing originality, familiarity and intelligibility as the main reasons for their decision. However, students also expressed willingness to know more about other varieties of English widely spoken in the Saudi medical scene, including, but not limited to, Filipino, Indian and even Saudi models.

Keywords: ESP, English for Medical Students, Native/Non-Native Models, EIL, ELF

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