Thinking Skills in English Language Teaching

 

 

ALC 8028  THINKING SKILLS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING

 

This module aims to raise students’ awareness of the link as well as the value of integrating teaching thinking into EFL/ESL classrooms (English as a foreign or second language). It will introduce you to key concepts, theories and perspectives of thinking, including a selection of thinking skill frameworks, guidance and approaches. A variety of tasks will guide you to experience and interpret what teachers need to know and do to promote an integrated approach to teaching thinking through EFL curriculum.

 

Specific aims include

  • To understand key concepts of thinking, including critical, creative thinking and thinking perspectives
  • To understand Bloom’s higher order thinking and implications on task designs and teacher questioning
  • To understand Vygotsky’s concepts of mediation and teacher roles in ELT
  • To apply learned theories and frameworks to design, interpret and evaluate teaching materials

 

Assessments

Assessment Type % Submission date
1 Reflective journals (500 words) 20% 25 March 2021
2 Essay (3,000 words) 80% 25 May 2021

 

Course books

Dummett, P. & Hughes, J. (2019) Critical Thinking in ELT: A Working Model for the Classroom. National Geographic.

Li, L. (2019). “Thinking” move in second language education. In Li, L. ed. Thinking Skills and Creativity in Second Language Education: case studies from international perspectives. (E-book)

Anderson, L. W. & Bloom, B. S. 2014. A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: a revision of Bloom’s, Pearson new international edition.

Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society.  Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press.

Moon, J. A. 2008. Critical thinking: an exploration of theory and practice, London; New York: Routledge. (E-book)

Lin, M., and MacKay, C. (2004) Thinking Through Modern Foreign Languages. Cambridge: Chris Kingston Publishing.

Johnson, Karen E., Golombek, Paula R. (2016). Mindful L2 Teacher Education: A Sociocultural Perspective on Cultivating Teachers’ Professional Development.  

Syllabus

 

Week Date Topics
1 3 Feb Thinking skills & teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) – curriculum changes
2 10 Feb De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats & creative thinking
3 17 Revised Bloom’s taxonomy & cognitive process in EFL teaching materials
4 24 Higher order thinking & teacher questions/instructions
    Buffer/Enrichment Week
5 10 Mar Mathew Lipman’s Community of Inquiry & reasoning skills
6 17 Mar Paul & Elder framework of critical thinking & EFL
7 24 Mar Sociocultural theories – mediation and teaching thinking in EFL
  25/3 Submission of reflective journal
    Easter holidays
     
     
     
8 28 Apr. Technology assisted teaching of critical thinking in EFL
9 5 May Assessment of thinking & space for developing thinking in EFL classroom
    Individual tutorials for written essays
  25/5 Submission of essay

 

 

Module Roadmap- organisation of teaching and learning

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly reading

Each week you will be assigned to reading tasks prior to Wednesday discussion on Zoom. It is listed under ‘Pre-Wednesday reading’. The reading can be varied from a chapter, an article to video materials.

 

WEEK 1

3 Feb Thinking skills & teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) – curriculum changes  

This session starts the module with a review of recent requirement of teaching thinking skills in English language curriculum, including values as well as challenges. It then introduces different types of thinking and key concepts of sociocultural theory that this module is based upon.

 

Pre-Wednesday reading:

Li, L. (2019). “Thinking” move in second language education. In Li, L. ed. Thinking Skills and Creativity in Second Language Education: case studies from international perspectives. pp1-7. E-book:

https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781315098920

 

Week 2

 10 Feb De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats & creative thinking 

This session introduces De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats as mediational tools to foster thinking from different perspectives. We consider ways these Hats could be integrated to enhance student performance in EFL.

 

Pre-Wednesday reading

  1. De Bono, E. (1992). Serious creativity: using the power of lateral thinking to create new ideas. Literal thinking on pp52-56, and The Six Thinking Hats on pp77-85. (Pdf)

 

  1. http://www.debonogroup.com/parallel_thinking.php (accessed on 27 Jan. 2021) What is parallel thinking and value of it?

– de Bono’s introduction of the six hats in the video ‘Innovation…

 

Further reading de Bono, E. (2000) Six Thinking Hats. Penguin Books Ltd. (STC)

 

Week 3

17 Feb Revised Bloom’s taxonomy & cognitive process in EFL teaching materials 

This session discusses cognitive demands in learning objective of EFL tasks and potential impact on learners’ low and higher order thinking. Revised taxonomy is introduced as a guide to examine and evaluate task affordance in published EFL teaching materials in terms of developing learners’ higher order thinking.

 

Pre-Wednesday reading

Dummett, P. & Hughes, J. (2019) Critical Thinking in ELT: A Working Model for the Classroom. National Geographic. Chapter 1: A working model of critical thinking in ELT. Pages 5-12.

Further reading

Anderson, L. W. & Bloom, B. S. 2014. A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: a revision of Bloom’s, Pearson new international edition. Chapter 5 The cognitive process dimension. Pp63-92. (E-copy on reading list; a copy available at Student textbook)

 

Week 4

24  Feb Higher/Lower order thinking & teacher questions/instructions  

This session discussions the demands of higher and lower order thinking on learners from aspects of teacher questions/instructions. It will analyse empirical studies on applying higher order questions to improve students’ performance in EFL.

 

Pre-Wednesday reading

Paul, R. & Elder, L. (2016). The Art of Socratic Questioning. The role of questions in teaching, thinking and learning. Pp. 62-65.

DeWaelsche, S. A. (2015). Critical thinking, questioning and student engagement in Korean university English courses. Linguistics and Education, 32, 131-147.

 

WEEK 5

10 Mar Mathew Lipman’s Community of Inquiry & reasoning skills 

This session is about students’ enquiring skills. Good enquiring and reasoning skills are indispensable for critical thinkers. We will look at principles of Mathew Lipman’s Community of Inquiry (COI) and implications of building up a safe environment to engage students in Socratic dialogues.

 

Pre-Wednesday readings

Lipman, M. (2003). Thinking in Education. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Chapter 4: Thinking in Community. Pp83-103. (E-book).

  • Page 83-84: last paragraph on page 83 till the end of the first paragraph on page 84: features of COI
  • Pages 87-88: the section ‘The logic of conversational discourse’
  • Page 92: last paragraph ‘When the classroom has been converted into a community of inquiry …
  • Page 93: Learning from the experience of others
  • Pages 100-102: Toward the formulation of classroom community of inquiry

 

Further reading Socratic-questioning:

Cam, P. 2006. 20 Thinking Tools: Collaborative Inquiry for the Classroom, Camberwell: ACER Press. Pp 32-36 Question quadrant.

Worley, E. & Worley, P. (2019) Teaching critical thinking and metacognitive skills through philosophical enquiry. A practitioner’s report on experiments in the classroom. https://www.e-publicacoes.uerj.br/index.php/childhood/article/view/46229

 

The power of Socratic Seminars in the classroom! YouTube (13”20)

 

Week 6

17 Mar Paul & Elder framework of critical thinking & EFL  

This session will unpack the concept of critical thinking based on Paul and Elder’s frameworks of The Elements of Thought and Standards of Thinking. It examines research on applications of these frameworks in teaching English in EFL contexts.

 

Pre-Wednesday reading

Paul, R., and Elder, Linda. (2006). The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking: Concepts and Tools: The Foundation for Critical Thinking. (E-book)

 

Further reading

Moon, J. A. 2008. Critical thinking: an exploration of theory and practice, London; New York: Routledge. Chapter 2: Critical thinking as an elusive concept. Pp19-34. (Ebook)

 

Useful websites

The Foundation for Critical Thinking (founded by Richard Paul & Linda Elder)   http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/criticalthinkingwheretobegin/796

 

Week 7

24 Mar Mediation and teaching thinking and language learning 

Mediation is a core concept of sociocultural theory and lies at the centre of this module. In this session, we will look in detail means and roles of mediation and implications for EFL teachers.

 

Pre-Wednesday reading

Johnson, K. E., Golombek, P. R. (2016). Mindful L2 Teacher Education. Chapter 2: Mediation in L2 Teachers Professional Development. Pp21-36.

 

Further reading

Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society.  Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. pp 79-91. E-copy

Williams, M., and Burden, R. L. (1997) Psychology for Language Teachers: a social constructivist Approach. Cambridge: CUP. Chapter 4: What can teachers do to promote learning? Pp65-87 (Feuerstein’s theory of mediation, and teacher mediation questionnaire). (Digitised-copy)

Lin, M. & Mackay, C. (2004) Thinking Through Modern Foreign Languages.  Chapter 5: The role of the teacher in the thinking skills classroom, pp 176-177. (Digitised-copy)

 

Week 8

28 Apr. Technology assisted teaching of critical thinking in EFL

This session, we will look at empirical research on technology assisted teaching of critical thinking.

 

Pre-Wednesday reading

Zhou, J. J., Yuhong. and Yao, Yuan. (2015). The Investigation on Critical Thinking Ability in EFL Reading Class. English Language Teaching, 8(1), 83-94.

Lin, M., Preston, A., Kharrufa, A. & Kong, Z. 2016. Making L2 learners’ reasoning skills visible: The potential of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Environments. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 22. Pp. 303-322.

 

Week 9

5 May Assessment of thinking & space for developing thinking 

This session will introduce you to samples of standard tests and rubrics to assess critical thinking or thinking dispositions.  We will look at various factors that could enhance or inhibit students’ thinking.

 

Pre-Wednesday readings

A sample of assessment tests or tools will be provided near the time.