Res Dev Med Educ. 2020;9(1): 17.
doi: 10.34172/rdme.2020.017
  Abstract View: 229
  PDF Download: 357

Original Research

Identity types and learners’ attitudes in language learning: Voices from students of medical sciences

Hamid Mahmoodi 1 ORCID logo, Mehry Haddad Narafshan 1* ORCID logo

1 Department of Foreign Languages, Kerman Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kerman, Iran


Background: The academic level of each society is assessed through the level of its students’
education. Students need to update their knowledge based on the latest achievements obtained
throughout the world. What can serve this purpose is “language” as a key instrument.
Methods: The current mixed methods study reviewed attitudes of Iranian medical sciences
students towards learning English Language with a focus on their identity type. To this end, 372
students of medical sciences (medical, paramedical, and nursery and midwifery) completed
two questionnaires and participated in a semi-structured interview investigating participants’
attitudes toward language learning.
Results: The results indicate that the students had a considerable appreciation for the English
language, particularly in enhancing job opportunities for them in the future and helping them
to keep up with technological developments in the world. Moreover, the English language
was considered a way of feeling more confident and enriching their intercultural horizons in
establishing interpersonal skills. There were also tendencies towards the English language as
a prestigious language with a high social level and a channel to have good relationships with
other people in their field. To some extent, they knew English as the transmission of professional
knowledge providing academic support; foursome of them, it was considered just a university
course to pass. It was also realized that the differences in their perceptions were not affected by
their identity type, suggesting a unique path of identity type and certain attitudes for students
of medical sciences.
Conclusion: In brief, with the English language considered as a growing global status and the
increasing interpretation of the impact that these shifts have on attitudes towards learning the
English language, there is a need for theoretical and practical exploration of learners ‘attitudes
towards the English language.
Keywords: Identity types, Learners’ Attitudes, English language Learning, Students of Medical Sciences
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Submitted: 19 Jun 2020
Revision: 23 Aug 2020
Accepted: 14 Sep 2020
ePublished: 29 Sep 2020
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