Effects of Attitudinal Factors on Language Performance among Sudanese EAP Medical Students

Abuelgasim Abdelbagi Elhaj, Nauman Al Amin Ali

Abstract


Attitudes and motivation are regarded as cardinal factors influencing language learning and language success. The present study is hence undertaken to investigate students’ attitudes and motivations towards EAP course materials and the extent to which these satisfy students' needs, and the impact of such courses on enhancing students' performance. The study population comprises 150 students from the faculties of Medicine in three Sudanese universities. Two tools have been used to collect data: a questionnaire to investigate students' attitudes and motivation and a test to measure students' performance. The researchers have employed a descriptive analytical approach and SPSS programs to analyze the data of the questionnaire and test. The findings indicate that, the vast majority of students are aware both of the position of English as the unrivalled global communicative language and the exigency of mastering that language to excel in their studies and future profession. Yet, a discrepancy exists between students' initial positive attitudes and actual performance marked by unsatisfactory results on all language components. It seems that students are held back by such negative pedagogical realities as the common core nature of the materials that are not relevant to the disciplinary and generic requirements of the medical field, as well as the teacher-centered mode of instruction that hardly utilizes the felicities of multi-media and finally, teachers’ apparent inattention to students’ opinions about their needs and preferences. Given their lack of personal involvement, most of the students resort to short-term instrumental motivation to pass examinations while leaving their actual language issues unresolved. It is recommended that, when designing their home-made EAP courses, teachers should strive to furnish varied and interesting materials to attract students and engender higher levels of intrinsic motivations.

 


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/elr.v4n4p69

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English Linguistics Research
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