Perceptions and barriers towards English language proficiency among pharmacy undergraduates at Universiti Sains Malaysia


  • Zeehan Shanaz Ibrahim English Language Section, School of Languages, Literacy and Translation, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang
  • Mohamed Azmi Hassali Discipline of Social & Administrative Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang
  • Fahad Saleem Discipline of Social & Administrative Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang
  • Noman ul Haq Discipline of Social & Administrative Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang
  • Tahir M Khan Department of Pharmacy , Monash University, Bandar Sunway, Selangor Darul Ehsan
  • Hisham Aljadhey Medication Safety Research Chair, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University


Perceptions, Barriers, English Language Proficiency, Pharmacy Undergraduates, Malaysia


Aim: The study aims to evaluate perceptions and barriers towards English language proficiency among pharmacy undergraduates at Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Method: This study was designed as a questionnaire based, cross sectional survey. In addition to the demographic information, the association among study variables was observed by using Chi-Square/Fischer Exact test.

Results: Two hundred and thirty two (52.1%) of the students agreed that they can communicate confidently in English. Furthermore, 350 (78.7%) felt that they possessed good English language listening skills. Three hundred and ten (69.7%) respondents claimed no problem in reading but 205 (46.1%) remained neutral towards their capabilities to write in English language. Lack of time was reported by 224 (50.1%) of the respondents as a potential barriers towards attaining English language proficiency.

Conclusion: The present study identified pharmacy students’ perceptions of their capability in English language and identified some areas of concern for improving their English language proficiency. Such areas of concern should be addressed to improve English proficiency level for pharmacy undergraduates. 


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Research Article