Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 11. Number2  June 2020                                                  Pp.275-289

 Full Paper PDF


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

Noura A. Alghamdi
English Language Institute
University of Jeddah
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia




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.
KeywordsEnglish-medicated oral presentations, social practices, ethnography, Saudi female undergraduates, language learners’ needs 

Cite as: Alghamdi, N. A. (2020). English-Mediated Presentations in Pharmacy: Exploring Literacy Practices among Saudi Female Undergraduates. Arab World English Journal11 (2) 275-289.


Ababneh, I. (2016). Comparative Arabic and English literacy: A study of female university students’ practices in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature, 5(1), 1-7. doi:10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.5n.1p.1

Alqahtani, M. (2015). Saudi students’ willingness to communicate and success in learning English as a foreign language. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 6(6), 1195-1205. doi:

Alzubi, A. A. F., Singh, M. K. M., & Pandian, A. (2017). The use of learner autonomy in English as a foreign language context among Saudi undergraduates enrolled in preparatory year deanship at Najran University. Advances in Language and Literacy Studies, 8(2), 152-160. doi:

Barnawi, O. Z. (2016). The effect of negotiating pedagogies in Saudi college EFL writing classrooms. Language and Literacy, 18(1), 1-22. DOI: 10.20360/G2DW2X

Barnawi, O. Z., & Phan, L. H. (2015). From western TESOL classrooms to home practice: A case study with two ‘privileged’ Saudi teachers. Critical Studies in Education, 56(2), 259-276. doi:10.1080/17508487.2014.951949

Barton, D. (1994). An introduction to the ecology of written language. Oxford: Blackwell.

Barton, D., & Hamilton, M. (1998). Local literacies: Reading and writing in one community. London: Routledge.

Barton, D., & Hamilton, M. (2005). Literacy practices. In D. Barton, M. Hamilton, & R. Ivanič (Eds.), Situated literacies: Reading and writing in context (pp. 7-15). London: Routledge.

 Carter-Thomas, S., & Rowley-Jolivet, E. (2008). If-conditionals in medical discourse: From theory to disciplinary practice. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 7, 191-205. doi:

Chang, Y-Y. (2012). The use of questions by professors in lectures given in English: Influences of disciplinary cultures. English for Specific Purposes, 31(2), 103-116. doi:

Charles, M. (2013). English for academic purposes. In B. Paltridge & S. Starfield (Eds.), The handbook of English for specific purposes (pp. 137-153). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Dressen-Hammouda, D. (2008). From novice to disciplinary expert: Disciplinary identity and genre mastery. English for Specific Purposes, 27, 233-252. doi:

Ferguson, G. (2001). If you pop over there: A corpus-based study of conditionals in medical discourse. English for Specific Purposes, 20, 61-82. doi:

Gee, J. P., Hull, G., & Lankshear, C. (1996). The New work order: Behind the language of the new capitalism. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Giannoni, D. S. (2008). Medical writing at the periphery: The case of Italian journal editorials. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 7, 97-107. doi:

Heath, S. B. (1983). Ways with words: Language, life and work in communities and classrooms. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Hyland, K. (2006). English for academic purposes: An advanced resource book. London: Routledge.

Hyland, K. (2009). Academic discourse. London: Continuum.

Javid, C. Z., Al-Asmari, A. R., & Farooq, U. (2012). Saudi undergraduates’ motivational orientations towards English language learning along gender and university major lines: A comparative study. European Journal of Social Sciences, 27(2), 283-300.

Kim, S. (2006). Academic oral communication needs of East Asian international graduate students in non-science and non-engineering fields. English for Specific Purposes, 25, 479-489. doi:

Kunioshi, N., Noguchi, J., Hayashi, H., & Tojo, K. (2012). An online support site for preparation of oral presentations in science and engineering. European Journal of Engineering Education, 37, 600-608. doi:10.1080/03043797.2012.733681

Lancaster, Z. (2016). Expressing stance in undergraduate writing: Discipline-specific and general qualities. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 23, 16-30. doi:

Lea, M. R., & Street, B. V. (1998). Student writing in higher education: An academic literacies approach. Studies in Higher Education, 23, 157-172. doi:10.1080/03075079812331380364

Lillis, T., & Scott, M. (2008). Defining academic literacies research: Issues of epistemology, ideology and startegy. Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4, 5-32. doi:10.1558/japl.v4i1.5

Lin, C. Y. (2015). Seminars and interactive lectures as a community of knowledge co-construction: The use of modifiers. English for Specific Purposes, 38, 99-108. doi:10.1016/j.esp.2015.02.002

Liton, H. A. (2012). Developing EFL teaching and learning practices in Saudi colleges: A review. International Journal of Instruction, 5(2), 129-152.

Mahboob, A., & Elyas, T. (2014). English in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. World Englishes, 33, 128-142. doi:10.1111/weng.12073

Marsh, J., & Larson, J. (2005). Making literacy real: Theories and practices for learning and teaching. London: Sage.

Martín, P., Rey-Rocha, J., Burgess, S., & Moreno, A. I. (2014). Publishing research in English-language journals: Attitudes, strategies and difficulties of multilingual scholars of medicine. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 16, 57-67. doi:10.1016/j.jeap.2014.08.001

Matusiak, K. K. (2013). Image and multimedia resources in an academic environment: A qualitative study of students’ experiences and literacy practices. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 64, 1577-1589. doi:10.1002/asi.22870

Molle, D., & Prior, P. (2008). Multimodal genre systems in EAP writing pedagogy: Reflecting on a needs analysis. TESOL Quarterly, 42, 541-566. doi:10.2307/40264488

Morita, N. (2000). Discourse socialization through oral classroom activities in a TESL graduate program. TESOL Quarterly, 34, 279-310.

Morton, J. (2009). Genre and disciplinary competence: A case study of contextualisation in an academic speech genre. English for Specific Purposes, 28, 217-229. doi:

Morton, J. (2016). ‘Adjacent worlds’: An analysis of a genre at the intersection of academic and professional communities. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 22, 54-63. doi:

Nazim, M., & Hazarika, Z. (2017). Efficacy of ESP in EFL context: A case study of Saudi Arabia. Arab World English Journal, 8(1), 145-164.

Nesi, H., & Gardner, S. (2011). Genres across the disciplines: Student writing in higher education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

O’Boyle, A. (2014). ‘You’ and ‘I’ in university seminars and spoken learner discourse. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 16, 40-56. doi:

Pahl, K., & Rowsell, J. (2012). Literacy and education: Understanding the new literacy studies in the classroom (2nd ed.). London: Sage.

Pahl, K., & Rowsell, J. (Eds.). (2006b). Travel notes from the new Literacy studies: Instances of practice. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters LTD.

Paltridge, B. (2013). Genre and English for specific purposes. In B. Paltridge & S. Starfield (Eds.), The handbook of English for specific purposes (pp. 347-366). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Papen, U. (2005). Adult literacy as social practice: More than skills. London: Routledge.

Rowley-Jolivet, E. (2004). Different visions, different visuals: A social semiotic analysis of field-specific visual composition in scientific conference presentations. Visual Communication, 3, 145-175. doi:10.1177/147035704043038

Royce, T. (2002). Multimodality in the TESOL classroom: Exploring visual-verbal synergy. TESOL Quarterly, 36, 191-205. doi:10.2307/3588330

Samraj, B. (2008). A discourse analysis of master’s theses across disciplines with a focus on introductions. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 7, 55-67. doi:

Sawaki, T. (2014). On the function of stance-neutral formulations: Apparent neutrality as a powerful stance constructing resource. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 16, 81-92. doi:

Street, B. V. (1984). Literacy in theory and practice. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Webber, P. (2005). Interactive features in medical conference monologue. English for Specific Purposes, 24(2), 157-181. doi:

Zareva, A. (2011a). ‘And so that was it’: Linking adverbials in student academic presentations. RELC Journal, 42, 5-15. doi:10.1177/0033688210390664

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on tumblr
Share on reddit
Share on email
Share on stumbleupon
Share on digg
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on tumblr
Share on digg
Share on email
Share on reddit
Share on stumbleupon
Share on vk

Noura Ali Alghamdi is an assistant professor at the English Language Institute, University of
Jeddah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Her research interests include qualitative research methodology,
literacy studies, multimodality, identity and computer assisted language learning.