CRITICAL THINKING AND READING LEVELS OF PRE-SERVICE ENGLISH TEACHERS ON THE VERGE OF A NEW COURSE

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Number of pages: 83-95
Year-Number: 2021-38

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Abstract

Critical thinking has been considered as one of the main goals of education at any level. The questionof ‘in what ways does critical thinking develop best?’ still needs further exploration. Cognitive science may provide assistance in comprehending the elusive nature of critical thinking, which may lend itself to explanations by receiving theoretical background and studying skills from a wide array of perspectives. Regarding the teaching of critical thinking skills to pre-service language teachers in an EFL context, it is apparent that it requires meticulous attention from the onset of the design of the language course. Aiming to develop a critical reading and writing course which was newly added to the English Language Teaching curriculum by the Higher Education Council and putting the teaching of critical thinking skills into the core, the current study aims to explore the critical thinking and reading levels of the students at the beginning of the course and display whether any difference took place during the course of time in the academic semester specified. The inclusion of the new course entitled ‘Critical Reading and Writing’, required the development of the course content and a selection of materials were made according to the general framework provided by the Higher Education Council. The current study utilized descriptive and inferential means. It aimed to determine and compare the students’ critical thinking and critical reading levels before and after the study. Findings indicate that students’ critical thinking levels developed at the end of the study. However, it is found that female students’ critical thinking scores contributed more than male students’ scores. When gender is not considered as a factor, the whole group of participants improved their critical thinking skills during the study; however they did not perform the same improvement on their reading scores.

 

 

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