The effect of in-service English education on medical professionals’ language proficiency

Samad Sajjadi, Majid Ahmadi, Maryam Heidarpour, Ali Salahiyakta, Naghmah Khadembashi, Mohammad Rafatbakhsh


  • BACKGROUND: Despite its inevitable significance, the effect of in-service English education on medical professionals has rarely been studied longitudinally. The reason can be issues such as physicians’ heavy workload, commuting problems, inappropriate class times, and inexperienced teaching staff.
  • METHODS: A needs assessment worksheet was administered  to faculty members of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran and the responses were analyzed. A project for the promotion of faculty members’ English proficiency was formulated.  Then, following a placement test, 235 applicants from the university colleges and hospitals were classified into 28 homogeneous groups. After four terms of instruction, the participants’ scores on the pre- and post- assessments were analyzed. Results: There was significant improvement in participants’ total scores on different communicative skills (p < 0.001). Regarding individual skills also, they achieved meaningful gains on listening (p < 0.001), writing (p = 0.038), and grammar (p < 0.001), but failed to progress significantly on reading comprehension (p = 0.523).
  • CONCLUSIONS: The administration of in-service education for skill-oriented courses, over a long period, can be quite encouraging and should be further  strengthened. Regular instructions on each individual skill on the one hand and on their combination on the other are essential for success in such education.
  • KEYWORDS: English Language Skills, In-Service Education, Medical Professionals


medical professionals, in-service education, English language skills

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