Journal of
Languages and Culture

  • Abbreviation: J. Lang. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6540
  • DOI: 10.5897/JLC
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 132

Full Length Research Paper

Learners of medical English as problem posers/solvers tackling real-life concerns

Sue-san Ghahremani-Ghajar* and Masoumeh Shabanzadeh
Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 January 2012
  •  Published: 27 February 2012



To come to a critical understanding of personal experiences and existing knowledge, and to actively engage in knowledge production, an education based on problem posing and problem solving activities can open up the space to focus on people’s real life concerns and come to local solutions for personal problems. The present study is an account of how centralizing themes and concerns from learners’ real life in an educational enterprise and empowering the learners to be problem posers/solvers can create pedagogy of engagement and local knowledge production. In this study a group of 24 third-semester Iranian students of medicine decided to work on a course of English for specific purposes in an alternative way as an instance of challenging the existing taken-for-granted ways of dealing with course requirements. They considered some of their real-life medical concerns and developed a process of problem posing/solving in using various available resources to conduct a search and a research and produce knowledge. They also took part in a public medical show at the end of the semester to exchange their problem posing/solving experiences and the produced knowledge with other students in the university as another step to represent their one-semester attempt to approach a number of medical concerns and look at what they have done from de-emphasized unspoken hidden perspectives.


Key words:  Language education, Medical English, problem posing, pedagogy of engagement, English in Iran.