An investigation into health science students’ English language needs


  • Tessema Gilo Addis Ababa University
  • Nuru Mohammed Addis Ababa University



In Ethiopia, where English is taught as a foreign language, health science and medical students just take common communicative English courses in their first year, most likely general English. As a result, meeting the specialized language and communication needs of health science or medical students in Ethiopia may be difficult. This has been considered as the main factor for poor English language proficiency in health science educational and professional settings. Thus, this study investigates the English language needs of health science students in higher education institutions so that English language courses can be designed accordingly. Hence, 131 students from the Health Science College in the academic year 2021/2022 were chosen using a stratified sampling technique. Six subject area instructors from Samara University and six health professionals from Dubti General Hospital were also selected via purposive sampling. A sequential explanatory mixed-methods research design was used. A questionnaire, interview, and observations were employed for data collection. The quantitative data was analysed quantitatively by using descriptive statistics, mean and percentage via spss 25 version computer software, whereas the qualitative data analysis was made based on procedures to descriptive and themes and interpreted qualitatively. According to the study, in the health science field of study, more technical terms that deviate from general English are used, and students want to learn these technical terms in their target situations. This study determined the priority of each English language skill as they are used in the health science field of study and future professional contexts. As a result, when developing English language course materials, course designers, and practitioners should take these activities and learners’ needs into account.



How to Cite

Gilo, T., & Mohammed, N. . (2024). An investigation into health science students’ English language needs. Journal of Second and Multiple Language Acquisition-JSMULA, 514–538.



Research Articles