Challenges in Teaching ESP at Medical Universities of Iran from ESP Stakeholders' Perspectives

Document Type: Research Paper


Allameh Tabatabai University


The status of teaching ESP has been studied both internationally and locally. However, it seems
that the challenges of teaching ESP in medical universities of Iran have not been studied
appropriately. The main objective of the present study was to explore the main challenges of
teaching ESP in medical universities of Iran. Due to the nature of the study, a qualitative res earch
design (Phenomenological) was used. The data were gathered through interviewing 25 ESP
stakeholders from two universities of medical sciences in Tehran. The data were analyzed
through content analysis techniques. The results showed that the challenges are classified into
three main themes: institution challenges, learner related challenges, and teacher related
challenges. Institution related challenges consisted of undetermined aims, structure of the
curricula, and content of syllabus, evaluation, time limitation and classroom size. The learner
related challenges included lack of motivation, poor GEL background, and learners’ focus on
test, and learners’ inappropriate needs’ analysis. ESP teachers’ related challenges included
teacher’s language proficiency, teachers’ content knowledge, teachers’ perception of ESP,
teachers’ teaching method, teachers’ familiarity with material development, and testing skills.
The findings of the study can be used to promote the status of teaching ESP in medical


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