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Learner Involvement at Arabian Gulf University Self-Access Centre

Author(s): Diane Malcolm

Journal: Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal
ISSN 2185-3762

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 68;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: self-acces | Bahrain | learner involvement

Arabian Gulf University (AGU) College of Medicine and Medical Sciences was established around 25 years ago to train students in the Arab Gulf states, including Bahrain, where it is located, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman to become doctors of medicine (MDs) using the problem-based learning approach (PBL). As is the case in most regional higher education institutions, entering students are expected to be proficient in English, the language through which course content is delivered. In reality, many students do not achieve the desired standard in English, thus must take one or more semesters of English language training before beginning their academic studies. IAGU has an annual intake of around 150 students of widely varying English proficiency levels, but has only recently begun to accept some students to a foundation English programme. Before that, our small English unit had to find ways of helping the least proficient improve their English skills, while providing a basis in English for medical purposes for all students, within the same course framework. Our self-access centre (SAC), though small and definitely not state of the art, has had an important role to play in accommodating the different students’ needs and interests, supplementing their course material and providing opportunities for increased language exposure.

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