Evaluation of English for Specific Purposes Textbooks by Medical Sciences Students at the University of Limpopo: A Needs Analysis approach


  • Themba Makhubele, Tebogo Kekana, Mphoto Mogoboya


COVID-19; English for Specific Purpose; Higher-Education; Textbooks, Learning; Pedagogy; Medical Science


There is already a myriad of evidence in the literature to show that when it comes to Teaching and Learning materials that are tailored to the discipline, lecturers find it challenging. This problem is mostly prevalent in historically black universities in South Africa and this due to several reasons. One of the reasons is that these lecturers are not well trained in developing relevant materials as stipulated in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) protocols. This article offers a brief discussion of the current situation under COVID-19 pandemic in the higher education. After a brief account of the general status quo regarding how lecturers are trained in SA, the article focuses on the main thrusts of the document: evaluation of English learning textbooks. The aim of this article is to explore, identify and analyses of the variables that hampers effective selection of relevant textbooks to teach English in medical sciences during the pandemic. Thus, this qualitative study that uses an exploratory design sought to explore, identify, examine and analyse the variables that impact on successful selection of relevant English Teaching Textbooks in the Medical Sciences departments at a specifically selected university. Data were elicited using a questionnaire and in-depth interviews with a sample of a group of 2 lecturers and 30 students utilising convenient sampling. Discriminant Function Analysis indicated a myriad sixteen interrelated variables. Variables included training of lecturers that is not adequate and lack of ESP tailored materials. Furthermore, the study used Genre theory, Needs Analysis framework and Schema theory as its linchpin. An analysis of the data revealed the following key findings: The findings may help lecturers who teach Teaching Methodologies in Education, trainers and instructors on how to best train lecturers and lecturers on how to produce teaching and learning materials that is relevant and adequate