Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 11. Number3  September 2020                                   Pp.464-483                 DOI:

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Integrating Project-Based Learning Strategies in the Design of an ESP Dental Vocabulary
Course for ESL Malaysian Majors

Iman El-Nabawi Abdel Wahed Shaalan 1, 2
1 Department of English, College of Science and Humanities
Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University
Al-Kharj,  Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 College of Humanities, Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt



The current paper investigates the effectiveness of integrating Project-based Learning (PjBL) strategies in the design process of an English for Specific Purposes Course (ESP) to develop dental vocabulary at the Dentistry College, Al-Azhar University- Cairo- Egypt. The study sampled fourteen ESL dental Malaysian students whose native language is English. This process required a needs analysis to assess the students’ academic and professional needs, wants, and lacks to create a course that responds and satisfies their requirements. The study adopted a quantitative methodology where participants were exposed to a dental vocabulary pre-test/ post-test to assess their dental vocabulary background. An interview with academic experts in the field of dentistry also helped in the design of the course. In light of the needs analysis, interviews, and the vocabulary test, an ESP project-based learning strategies course was designed. The results of the study revealed the effectiveness of integrating project-based learning strategies in the ESP course to develop dental vocabulary among ESL Malaysians. It proved that employing innovative strategies in the dental vocabulary classroom fostered the learners’ self- autonomy, problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity.
Keywords: Dental vocabulary, English for specific purposes (ESP), ESL Malaysian majors, needs analysis, project-based learning (PjBL)

Cite as: Shaalan, I. E.A. (2020). Integrating Project-Based Learning Strategies in the Design of an ESP Dental Vocabulary Course for ESL Malaysian Majors. Arab World English Journal11 (3) 464-483.


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Iman El-Nabawi Shaalan is an Assistant Professor at the College of Science and Humanities,
English Department, Prince Sattam bin Abdul-Aziz University, Saudi Arabia.
Her research interests include language teaching methodologies, approaches of teaching foreign
language skills, curriculum development and teaching methods, second and foreign language
teaching and learning, and translation. ORCID: