Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 10. Number 2. June 2019                                                     Pp.323-341

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Linguistic Hegemony of English Language in the Medical Context of King Abdullah

Hanan Sarhan Alsubaiai
Department of English
Faculty of Arts, King Khalid University
Bisha, Saudi Arabia


This study aims to investigate how the dominance of the English language at Bisha King Abdullah Hospital in Saudi Arabia affects service delivery. Specifically, the research focuses on the attitudes of patients and staff towards communicating in English instead of Arabic, which is the primary official language in Saudi Arabia. First, the study addresses the question of how the dominance of English language in the selected medical context affects service delivery. Second, the study explores the attitude of patients and medical staff towards the dominance of the English language. Third, the study presents a comparison of the attitude of patients and medical staff towards the use of English language. Finally, the study responds to the question of how patients’ level of education influences their attitude towards the use of English at the hospital. The study is based on quantitative research, involving 60 participants, where 30 patients and 30 medical staff. The findings reveal that 86.7% of medical staff members find it challenging to communicate with their patients in English. On the same note, 60% of patients interviewed admitted that they find it difficult understanding medical practitioners when they communicate in English. The findings can have significant practical implications since they show a possible communication barrier that can be addressed to improve patient experience at Bisha King Abdullah Hospital. The findings provide statistical evidence to inform evidence-based strategies to improve communication between patients and medical practitioners at the hospital.
Abbreviations and Acronyms Definition
Keywords: Communication barrier, language discordance, linguistic hegemony, medical context, patient’s satisfaction 

Cite as: Alsubaiai, H. S. (2019) Linguistic Hegemony of English Language in the Medical Context of King Abdullah Hospital. Arab World English Journal10 (2). 323-341.


Hanan Sarhan is both a lecturer and a dean assistant at Bisha University. She specializes in
teaching English and assisting the dean in academic affairs. Before starting her career at Bisha
University, she did her undergraduate and master’s degree at King Khalid University. Hanan has
excellent communication skills, a good public speaker and a docile learner who respects and
appreciates her superiors. ID ORCid-