Research Article

An Evaluation of English for Nursing Textbooks as Perceived by Teachers and Students at an Applied Medical College in Saudi Arabia


  • Eyad Ahmad AlMithqal ESP instructor, AlGhad International Colleges for Applied Medical Sciences, KSA


Textbooks play an imperative role in transferring knowledge between teachers and students in educational practices all over the globe. Textbook evaluation is also considered as a great significance as it provides a better understanding of the specific nature in the teaching and learning environment. To this aim, the current study was an attempt to evaluate instructors and learners’ perspectives of their EMP textbooks and also to investigate the weaknesses and strengths that they may have in the process of teaching these textbooks with some practical suggestions in improving the textbook as the medical schools in Saudi Arabia are considered as a traditional educational environment. To gather the necessary data, two research methods were employed (a questionnaire and an interview). 80 medical students (level 1 and 2) answered 29- items questionnaire to express their perceptions towards different aspects of their EMP textbook and 5 teachers participated in the interview to gain in-depth information about the strengths and shortcomings in the adopted textbook. The findings revealed that the students’ responses to all questions indicated positive attitudes towards the content, suitability of the textbook for their levels and needs, the appropriateness of the size, durability, the authenticity of the textbook, sufficient variety in the topics and relevance to their medical studies. Activities included the development of higher-level thinking skills and the grammar and vocabulary points were presented with brief and easy examples and explanations. Most teachers considered the EMP textbooks (English for nursing series) are effective in terms of the layout and design, a variety of activities, promoting higher-level thinking skills and problem-solving, relevance to medical sciences, suitability of student abilities, interests, and learning styles, authenticity, and encouraging sufficient communicative and meaningful practice. Appropriate balance of language skills like reading, listening and speaking. However, the shortcomings were clear in terms of the loss of creativity, originality, and independence; the tasks were not interesting and the weight of technical writing was below expected like writing medical reports, graphs and presenting cases as the textbooks were not seen to support the writing tasks needed in a restricted setting including the health care industry. Some practical suggestions included containing extra activities focusing on multilevel of students. The book name also seems to be designed only for nursing specialists, not for other medical related specialists. Moreover, it would be better if the book provided an appropriate balance of the four skills as it seems that there were limited writing activities. The textbook should be provided with a digital version and the listening audio script should be removed from the book which becomes more reading than listening.

Article information


Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies

Volume (Issue)

1 (3)





How to Cite

AlMithqal, E. A. . (2019). An Evaluation of English for Nursing Textbooks as Perceived by Teachers and Students at an Applied Medical College in Saudi Arabia. Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies, 1(3), 13–25. Retrieved from



Learners’ and teachers’ perceptions, Learning English for Specific Purposes ESP, English for medical purposes EMP, evaluation, Saudi Arabia