English-Mediated Presentations in Pharmacy: Exploring Literacy Practices among Saudi Female Undergraduates

Author: Noura Ali Alghamdi

Keywords: English-medicated oral presentations, social practices, ethnography, Saudi female undergraduates, language learners’ needs

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol11no2.19

Despite the complex nature of language learners’ needs, researchers on language use in tertiary education tend to look at these needs through textual analyses associated with written discourse more than any other aspect of language use. Because learners’ needs, however, extend to include recognizing the challenges and situated nature of language use among learners (Hyland, 2006), this article adopts a social account of literacy (Barton, 1994; Barton and Hamilton, 1998; Street, 1984; Pahl &  Rowsell, 2012) to explore the literacy practices surrounding how year-five female undergraduates engage with English-mediated oral presentations in pharmacy at a Saudi Arabian university. The article offers a situated understanding of these undergraduates’ views of English as a considerable challenge in this literacy event to provide a more in-depth understanding of how undergraduates address this challenge. The article concludes by offering some suggestions as to how knowledge of the social practices surrounding learners’ engagement with reading and writing can help to inform EAP pedagogical practices.