Vocabulary Learning and Memory Strategies Usage among English for Medical Purposes (EMP) Students


  • Hongmei Cui
  • Naginder Kaur


English for Medical Purposes; memory strategies; vocabulary; Chinese students


In the backdrop of globalization, proficient command of English as an international language is essential in different research fields. English for Medical Purposes (EMP) is an essential prerequisite for international communication and exchanges, however, vocabulary has been found to be an obstacle in EMP learning, which affects learners’ academic achievement in their professional field. This article investigated students’ beliefs on EMP vocabulary learning, preferences for memory strategies, and perceptions on memory strategies usage. It aimed to find out the difficulty in EMP vocabulary learning, viable memory strategies and the effect and influence of using these strategies. A qualitative research method of in-depth interview was used to deeply explore students’ real subjective thinking on EMP vocabulary learning and memory strategies usage. Students from Ningxia Medical University, China, who would like to improve their EMP lexical proficiency were conveniently selected as the participants. The qualitative analysis software NVivo 12 was used to analyze the collected data. The results mainly indicate that most students believe EMP lexis is challenging to learn because of its complicated characteristics, while high language proficiency learners are found to utilize more memory strategies. Students primarily concentrate on simple operations of strategies use and agree on the benefits of enhancing memorization, while having own categorization of learning EMP lexical items. The conclusions obtained from the research results could provide references for both EMP vocabulary teaching and learning, and some recommendations are proposed to improve EMP vocabulary learning quality.



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