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Investigating the language needs of undergraduate science students in Libya

Investigating the language needs of undergraduate science students in Libya
Investigating the language needs of undergraduate science students in Libya
Although English for Specific Purposes (ESP) approach is widely applied in science to many non-native speakers around the world, higher education institutions in Libya are striving to remain competitive in on-going changes in the science field. There is an ever increasing demand for communication in English in study and in work places, and some institutions have taken steps to develop newer academic programs as a means to meet students’ needs. However, few studies have been carried out to customise ESP courses to suit the Libyan scientific environment.
The primary focus of this study is to explore the language needs of undergraduate science students in Libya. The Needs Analysis Framework was used to investigate the extent of English use among computer science, chemistry and physics undergraduates. For this purpose, multiple-instruments were used including questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, classroom observations and teaching materials. The questionnaires were completed by 127 science students while the semi-structured interviews were conducted with 7 faculty members. The classroom observations were conducted with three classes namely Computer Science, Chemistry and ESP, and teaching materials were collected from each of these subjects.
The study reveals that English language is generally needed in the science settings. Moreover, it plays a significant role in computer science in particular, as most of its discourses are conducted in English. However, it plays only a limited role in the teaching of Chemistry and Physics. The study suggests that collaboration between science disciplines and English teachers are needed in terms of the ESP programme if such programmes are to be successful.
Abuklaish, Abdelhafied
95dfe4c7-376e-459c-a8c2-99b5275f2a92
Abuklaish, Abdelhafied
95dfe4c7-376e-459c-a8c2-99b5275f2a92
Archibald, Alasdair
15b56a58-87df-4322-8367-70f4daff3f42
Blue, George
7418dddd-37f2-488e-8b04-d7c217053996
Mitchell, Rosamond
de2eabed-7903-43fa-961a-c16f69fddd7e

Abuklaish, Abdelhafied (2014) Investigating the language needs of undergraduate science students in Libya. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 240pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Although English for Specific Purposes (ESP) approach is widely applied in science to many non-native speakers around the world, higher education institutions in Libya are striving to remain competitive in on-going changes in the science field. There is an ever increasing demand for communication in English in study and in work places, and some institutions have taken steps to develop newer academic programs as a means to meet students’ needs. However, few studies have been carried out to customise ESP courses to suit the Libyan scientific environment.
The primary focus of this study is to explore the language needs of undergraduate science students in Libya. The Needs Analysis Framework was used to investigate the extent of English use among computer science, chemistry and physics undergraduates. For this purpose, multiple-instruments were used including questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, classroom observations and teaching materials. The questionnaires were completed by 127 science students while the semi-structured interviews were conducted with 7 faculty members. The classroom observations were conducted with three classes namely Computer Science, Chemistry and ESP, and teaching materials were collected from each of these subjects.
The study reveals that English language is generally needed in the science settings. Moreover, it plays a significant role in computer science in particular, as most of its discourses are conducted in English. However, it plays only a limited role in the teaching of Chemistry and Physics. The study suggests that collaboration between science disciplines and English teachers are needed in terms of the ESP programme if such programmes are to be successful.

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Published date: February 2014
Organisations: University of Southampton, Modern Languages

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 374763
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/374763
PURE UUID: d3bad1c3-99f1-4f38-81b5-7f7c9702c086

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Date deposited: 24 Mar 2015 14:59
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 21:23

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Contributors

Author: Abdelhafied Abuklaish
Thesis advisor: Alasdair Archibald
Thesis advisor: George Blue
Thesis advisor: Rosamond Mitchell

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