Reading Comprehension Needs of Iranian Medical Students

Document Type: Research Paper


1 University of Tehran

2 University of Tehran, Kish International Campus


The present study aimed to assess the target and present reading comprehension needs and abilities of Iranian medical students with different levels of English language proficiency. A total of 283 medical students and 23 ESP instructors were chosen through cluster sampling. The data collection instruments included the Persian version of Atai and Nazari’s (2011) needs analysis questionnaire and a 40-item language proficiency test. The obtained results indicated that ‘general vocabulary’ and ‘medical terminology’ were considered ‘important’ in facilitating the comprehension of medical texts. In addition, the findings revealed that medical students need to improve all reading sub-skills. Furthermore, the respondents’ perceptions were significantly different with regard to students’ target needs and present abilities in reading comprehension. Finally, there was no statistically significant difference in students’ target and present needs and abilities across different levels of language proficiency. The findings have potential implications for the improvement of medical EAP courses. 


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