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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 12  |  Page : 3908-3914

Dental education in the Arabic language vs English language: A survey among Arab dentists

1 Department of Restorative Dental Sciences, Alfarabi Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, Alfarabi Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Private Dental Clinic, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mazen Doumani
Department of Restorative Dental Sciences, Alfarabi Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_572_19

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Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the language difficulties encountered by Arabic dental students and dentists in some aspects of their dental education and to determine their attitude towards the Arabization of the medical curriculum. Materials and Methods: A web-based self-administered questionnaire with 14 multiple-choice questions was designed and distributed online via google forms in the Arabic language. The online link was sent randomly to Arabic dental students, dental academic staff, and dental practitioners. The survey questions explored language problems during reading, attending lectures and scientific conferences, preparing scientific researches, taking deferent exams, and the attitudes towards Arabization. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square tests were used to analyze the responses to the questions. Results: There were 378 respondents for this study. Nevertheless, paying high attention to the importance of English language as the global language of communication, (70.6%) of the respondents believed that studying in Arabic is a basic requirement for the Arabs. Near percentage agreed that mastering their mother tongue is much easier than to acquire another language, which further facilitates studying and improves understanding. More than (65%) of the subjects preferred a mixture of both languages for attending lectures, conferences, and exams. But (68.3%) said that they use English when they search for any subject related to dentistry. Conclusion: There has been a consensus on the need for receiving knowledge in the Arabic language, and the importance of studying the mother tongue for enhancing understanding and memorization. The results demonstrated that the idea of teaching some dental courses in Arabic is not impossible and it might be the key to improve dental study for the Arabs. Consequently, a majority stated that there were obstacles in teaching dentistry in fully Arabic language due to the dominance of English language internationally and the weak possibilities of Arabization and translation in the Arab world.

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