- 21st Century Skills
- Integrating Critical Thinking in the ESL Classroom: A Case Study of Egyptian Students
Integrating Critical Thinking in the ESL Classroom: A Case Study of Egyptian Students
Dr. Rasha Osman is an English language and literature assistant professor/lecturer at the Higher Technological Institute. She is a certified teacher from University of Oregon and Cambridge TESOL and avid researcher who presented in many national and international conferences. Dr. Rasha has completed a number of training courses with the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Arizona State University, South Graduate Institute, and University of Oregon. She is highly interested in comparative literature, teaching adults, using technology and assessment issues.
Studies report the advantages of integrating critical thinking in the ESL classes. Brown (2004) asserts that in an ideal academic language program, the objectives of the curriculum should go beyond linguistic factors to develop critical thinking among learners. Language teachers can greatly influence the type of learning for language learners. Their responsibilities include helping learners develop critical thinking abilities. Davidson (1998) asserts that L2 teachers should introduce their students to aspects of critical thinking. Likewise, Lipman (2003) explains teachers are responsible for promoting critical thinking in the learners more than helping them to go from one educational level to the next. The responsibility of foreign language teachers is to help their learners acquire critical thinking skills while learning the language. Still, many language teachers do not know how to integrate critical thinking skills in the curriculum. This paper aims at giving teachers an idea about critical thinking techniques and best practices. The researcher will define critical thinking, critical thinking techniques and show some best practices that can be used in different teaching contexts.
Critical thinking is a relevant skill that has been recently introduced and gained prominence in foreign language teaching contexts. Enhancing critical thinking in learners is considered one of the foreign language teachers’ tasks. This paper aims at giving teachers an idea about critical thinking techniques and best practices. The researcher will define critical thinking, tackle critical thinking techniques and present some best practices that can be used in different teaching contexts.
Critical Thinking Definition
There are many different definitions for critical thinking offered by various educators such as Lipman (1991); Norris and Ennis (1989); Maiorana (1992); Siegel (1988); Elder and Paul (1994). Critical thinking is open-mindedness and having an opinion. It involves reflection and it is nourished via practice. Critical thinking is reflective reasoning about topics, beliefs and actions. It is a way of deciding on the truth of claims and it can be traced in Western thought to the Socratic method of Ancient Greece which is based on probing questions to determine whether claims are rationally justified with clarity and logical consistency. Critical thinking is a product of instruction and training. It is a mental habit that leads to power and improvement.
In other words, critical thinking is that mode of thinking—about any subject, content, or problem—in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully analyzing, assessing, and reconstructing it. Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. Critical thinking is the systematic art of ensuring that one uses the best thinking one is capable of in any set of circumstances. In other words, critical thinking is concerned with deep thinking, problem solving, and not being content with the first solution to a problem, but thinking more deeply about it. It also involves looking for what is implied rather than what is stated, applying the rules of logic, and not letting reason be clouded by emotions.
Integrating Critical Thinking into the English Language Classroom
The integration of critical thinking into the English language classroom is of high significance for several reasons. Firstly, it will help language learners to be able to express themselves, take charge of their own thinking, and evaluate their learning. Second, critical thinking exercises will expand the knowledge and experience of the learners (Pica, 2000; Zainuddin et al, 2003). The exercises will also make language learning more meaningful for students, and will help improve their language skills (Rafi, n.d.), proficiency level (Liaw, 2007), and oral communication ability (Kusaka & Robertson, n.d.). In addition, critical thinking exercises will enhance higher order thinking skills and prepare students for educational and professional opportunities (Chamot, 1995; Chapple & Curtis, 2000; Davidson, 1994, 1995, 1998; Tarvin & Al- Arishi, 1991).
Unfortunately, the relevance of thinking skills in language development in school and university settings is not widely discussed among theorists and educators. Miraman & Tishman (1988) and Suhor (1984) explain that thinking skills are often treated as independent processes. Pica (2000) explains that the integration of language and thinking skills has been peripheral in English language teaching methodology. Kabilan (2000) suggests that for learners to be proficient in a language, they need to be able to think critically when using the target language. Brown (2004) asserts that in a well prepared academic language program, the objectives of the curriculum should integrate linguistic and critical thinking skills aspects. Lipman (2003) enforces teachers' responsibility for encouraging critical thinking to prepare students for life. The responsibility of foreign language teachers is to help their learners acquire critical thinking skills while learning the language ((Mirman 1988); Norris et al (1989)). As Mahyuddin et al (2004) assert there is plenty of room for improvement in incorporating the thinking skills into our curricula and that such critical thinking skills are worthwhile as they prepare students for life. In addition, to giving students critical thinking exercises, teachers should provide feedback on students' work, and information on how the students should do the activities. Teachers can also help students with vocabulary and expressions while doing the tasks. Giving commentary on how students supported their opinion is also helpful as it trains them on ordering and developing their ideas in a logical way.
To convince students to be critical thinkers English teachers can speak to students about the idea of thinking about anything, train students on developing their ideas, take small steps, and use some of the following techniques. Students should be convinced that their brains are better that computers but like any other muscle in the body, they need to be exercised to work its best via critical thinking exercises. Students should be trained on questioning, formulating solutions, gathering and assessing relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively (Liaw (2007)). Students should also be trained on reaching well-reasoned conclusions and solutions and testing them against relevant criteria and standards. Students should be trained on thinking open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, the assumptions, implications, and consequences and communicating effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems, without being unduly influenced by others' thinking on the topic (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority 2001-2002).
Critical Thinking Techniques
Here are some critical thinking techniques that I was introduced to in the two weeks training on integrating critical thinking in the educational system namely Critical Thinking Skills Exchange Program, a program sponsored by US Department of State and FHI 360 in UMass Lowell University.
When trying to teach critical thinking try to teach trendy, relevant ideas that raise discussion like pollution, population, population explosion, racism and try to listen to students’ ideas about these topics. Add open-ended questions to the texts, audios, videos and make students listen and read each other opinions. Students would learn there is no one idea about a topic and the way of presenting any idea differs from one person to another (Freire (1973); Kasper (2000)).
Essential questions are really relevant in helping students understand and connect the topics they learn with life. They are related to understanding by design. Teachers should regularly pose essential questions to students. Essential questions are questions that make one think and reflect. They are open-ended or wh. questions that inspire thinking and reflection (Alkinson 1997).
Teachers spice the class with the activity Think-Pair-Share. Think-Pair-Share can also be used to enhance discussion and eventually critical thinking. Discussion is the beginning of critical thinking (Benesh 1993).
Teachers use jigsaw for reading activities. They can move a step further by asking students to denote their opinion on the paragraph/s they read, what they learn from the expert groups, or hold an open discussion after finishing the topic. Commentary and discussion are the core aspects of critical thinking (Brookfield (1987); and Brinton (1989), Brus et al (1985))
Reflective forms enhance critical thinking as they make students reflect on the topics they covered, connect them with the big picture (Elder et al (1994)). Students eventually become aware and conscious learners. Reflection is essential for reasoning and critical thinking (Siegel (1988); Stoller (1997)). The internet abounds with infinite examples of reflective forms.
Reflective Logs and Reflective Discussions
Gaining the habit of reflection through reflective logs and reflective reports is one of the best approaches that enhance critical thinking. A reflective log or diary is a paper-based or online log or diary that contains regular entries by the student, detailing his/her ideas, experiences and feelings about what they learn. Reflective discussions are really helpful. They even enhance rapport.
Field Visits and Hands-on Activities
Instead of speaking about factories, slums, suburbs, and handmade goods, site visits and field visits can enhance discussion and eventually critical thinking. Instead of speaking about printing, a site visit to a printing office and making students understand the process of printing through first-hand experience will make students discuss, interact and think critically.
Outside-Inside Circle is an activity that can be used as an ice-breaker and as a speaking activity. It can also be adapted to enhance critical thinking skills via guided questions on big ideas or even without using such guided questions.
Game Nights are after school or after training getting together to meet and have fun and play games. Students can see big topics names on the walls. Such big topic names will inspire discussion and eventually critical thinking. Parents, colleagues and co-workers can be invited to such nights.
Involve the thinking hats while discussing any topic. The hats can be also used as a critical writing activity after reading texts.
- White Hat: The Facts –What are the facts? What information do I have? What information do I need to find out?
- Black Hat: The Negatives- What problems could arise? What are the disadvantages?
- Yellow Hat: The Positives- Why is this a good idea? What are the advantages and benefits?
- Red Hat: Feelings – How do I feel about this? What do I like about these feelings? What do I not like about these feelings?
- Green Hat: Creativity- What new ideas are possible? What is my suggestion? How can this be changed or improved?
- Blue Hat: The Big Picture- What thinking is needed? Where are we now? What do we need to do next?
Thinking hats, Thinking Biases, and Thinking versus Feelings
Use exercises that involve thinking hats, shattering biases, facts and opinion and thinking versus feelings.
Picture Dictation and Running Dictation
Picture dictation and running dictation are not only English language teaching activities but they are activities that can inspire the idea that there is no one way of handling one topic and that the design, drawing or words can present more than one idea all related and connected.
Using graphic organizers can enhance the process of conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information. It also involves rephrasing, a language skill that can be developed via using graphic organizers. Using graphic organizers also enforces the information read. The internet abounds with infinite number of graphic organizers examples that can be used to help students compare and contrast, differentiate between facts and opinion, and show results and reflect.
Comparing and Contrasting
Comparing and contrasting is an activity that enhances critical thinking. Reading a text about US holidays can start a discussion based on the idea of comparing between holidays in Egypt and holidays in the United States. Comparing and contrasting is a step that enhances speaking skills as well as critical thinking (Scanlan 2006).
Understanding by Design
Putting the end or the main idea the teacher wants students to learn in mind rather than concentrating on minute details is one of the best exercises that can enhance critical thinking via discussion. Revisiting or revising a reading topic via a speaking activity, a discussion forum, a summarizing activity or a commentary activity will not only help students consolidate the language but will also help them be engaged in a critical thinking activity and a reflective exercise.
Technology for Enhancing Critical Thinking
E-tools that we use on daily bases can be used for enhancing critical thinking skills according to the teacher’s design. We can use Facebook, Canvas, google docs, and google forms as platforms for starting discussion and analysis that leads to critical thinking. To assure that students participate, a minimal number of entries in a discussion thread can be required.
Debating and discussing hot issues will force students to think about the multiple sides of an issue and interact with one another. Students should be given time to research the topic and form opinions on the issue. As such, students will have the ability to support their opinion. A debate can be a speaking activity or a discussion forum (Halvorsen 2005).
Discussing the news and media analysis
Discussing the news and various forms of media will not only help enhance students' language skills but will enhance students' critical and reflective skills.
The research problem is: examining the impact of using the previously mentioned techniques in enhancing students' critical thinking skills.
Formal Statement of Research Question
How does the incorporation of some of the following techniques: big ideas, essential questions, think- pair-share, jigsaw, reflective forms, reflective logs and reflective discussions, field visits and hands on activities, outside-inside- circle, game nights, thinking hats, thinking biases and thinking versus feelings, picture dictation and running dictation, graphic organizers, comparing and contrasting, understanding by design, using some technology tools, debate, discussing the news and media analysis- can enhance students' critical thinking skills and eventually help them in improving their educational and professional opportunities. The research is also concerned with the question what impact does critical thinking exercises have on students of all levels of proficiency and if it will help improve students' language skills, and asset them make judgments, be decisive, synthesize information, and evaluate. The case study will also examine the idea whether critical thinking exercises will empower students, give them a sense of autonomy and help them develop skills for self-directed learning.
Research Context and Description of Participants
After carefully analyzing available researches and publications on critical thinking, I developed the following steps for the implementation of the action research. The action research was carried out in the first semester of the academic year 2018-2019 (September-January term). It was conducted on language A for engineering department groups 1, 2, 3, and 4. Language A is the first level in the English language courses in Higher Technological Institute in which the language courses are named in equivalence to the English language alphabet.
The 4 groups (classes) were comprised of 200 students, 150 students were males and 50 were females. A total of 200 students were enrolled in the action research. I added many of the techniques discussed above namely big ideas, essential questions, think- pair-share, jig saw, reflective forms, reflective logs and reflective discussions, field visits and hands on activities, outside-inside- circle, game nights, thinking hats, thinking biases, and thinking versus feelings, picture dictation and running dictation, graphic organizers, comparing and contrasting, understanding by design, technology, debate, discussing the news and media analysis. Students were assigned reading, did discussions, and participated on discussion threads that were chosen by the instructor to enhance critical thinking skills (Kwaka 2011)).
145 students responded to the first questionnaire, 168 to the second questionnaire and 188 to the third questionnaire. As for the concerns before and while conducting the action research, I was not sure that all students would like the idea of thinking critically, discussing and having a point on what they read, listen to or watch. I was also concerned about the great number of techniques I try to incorporate in the curriculum and whether sticking to a single technique is better but I decided to try as many techniques as possible to learn and open-up students' minds. Another point of concern was the students' acceptance of the idea of expressing their opinion as Egyptian students are not used to express their opinion. The administration acceptance of the idea of making students think critically and express their opinion on the material they read, listen to or watch was also a major concern. As for the steps I took to make things go smoothly, I spoke to my colleagues and supervisors before taking steps. The administration and my colleagues were really happy as they understand the relevance of critical thinking in enhancing students understanding, opening up their minds, and eventually helping students improve their educational and professional opportunities. Being open-minded and being critical will help students in understanding what they already know, identifying what they need to know in order to advance their educational and professional opportunities and guide their choices for further learning. Open-mindedness will also help students play a role in developing their community and eventually their country.
The four classes I conducted the action research on are in Higher Technological Institute. I am highly interested in making a real difference in students' lives and enhancing their critical thinking skills. I believe that critical thinking would help students improve on both the educational and professional level (Widdowson1990).
The students' ages in the four classes varies from 18-20. The number of the students in each class is around 50. Their proficiency in the language varies as they come from different educational backgrounds. The students come from all over Egypt: Cairo (25%), Ismailia (15%), Suez (10%), Sharkiya (10%), and Upper Egypt (40%). They are low-middle, middle and upper-middle class. Many of them own laptops, have internet access via their phones, in the library of the institute and at home. Most of my students are graduates of public schools only 20 per cent are either private or international (19 % private schools and 1% international schools). As such, most need to work hard on their English to prepare themselves for the market. The course is general English and it tries to tackle the four language skills. Class time is three hours twice a week.
Language is a secondary subject in comparison to engineering subjects. Being a secondary subject, some students underestimate it and do not put real effort in the assignments assigned. Students who understand that English language can enhance their educational and professional opportunities ask for extra curriculum activities and start taking courses. Most students were not trained on critical thinking as most of the time students are taught to the test without concentration on critical thinking as most teachers concentrate on the content and believe that trying to incorporate critical thinking exercises will be time consuming.
To enhance my students' critical thinking skills, I tried to incorporate as many of the following techniques: big ideas (through discussion before and after reading exercises), essential questions (in the warm up while discussing hot topics or latest news and some time by questions added to the reading, think-pair-share (before and after reading discussion questions, jig saw(commenting on the paragraphs they read or on the expert groups), reflective forms, reflective logs and reflective discussions, field visits and hands on activities, outside-inside-circle, game nights, thinking hats, thinking biases, and thinking versus feelings, picture dictation and running dictation, graphic organizers (after readings), comparing and contrasting (after reading or while discussion), understanding by design (posing questions the enforce the core ideas and enhance judgement), technology (using the classes Facebook group as a platform for discussion where a certain number of entries are required from each student, debate and discussing the news and media analysis (in class and online through the Facebook group)
Data Collection Procedure
I collected data from three paper-based questionnaires namely the beginning of term questionnaire, the mid-term questionnaire and the end of term questionnaire. The main purpose of the questionnaires was to gather as much information as possible. I analyzed the different answers provided by the students to make sure if things were going well or the plan needs adjustment.
Data Collection Tools Usage
The first questionnaire was conducted at the beginning of the course. The first questionnaire consisted of seven open-ended questions, and 18 statements in which students were asked to give their ratings according to their thoughts. They were required to choose between often, usually, sometimes, rarely, and never. The first questionnaire was given to understand whether they practice critical thinking and to raise their awareness about the idea of thinking critically. 145 answered the first questionnaire. The second questionnaire was conducted before the mid-term. The second was conducted at the middle of the course. The third questionnaire was conducted a week before the end of course.
Results for beginning of the term questionnaire
Students' Mid-term Questionnaire
168 students out of two hundred students took the questionnaire before taking the mid-term exam.
Attitudes to integrating CT activities in the ESL class and opinion on the experience
As for the open-ended question about the positives and negatives of adding critical thinking activities to the ESL curriculum, 80 per cent asserted that the critical thinking activities enhanced their skills of self-expression, ideas development, and the ability to develop their opinions. The only setback of the critical thinking exercises is that they are time consuming.
Result for End of Term Questionnaire
As for the end of term questionnaire, 180 took the questionnaire for 3 marks bonus in the years' work. 165 denoted they liked adding up the critical thinking activities to the ESL curriculum as the activities help them try to express their thoughts and support their ideas. 140 students denoted that they would like the continuation of the practice of adding critical thinking activities in the next English courses because it is a skill that they need in life. As for the questions concerning their behavior after being introduced to critical thinking, 150 denoted that they think about topics they read on, or heard about. 145 stated that they judge and comment on material sent to the Facebook group. 100 students stated they use e-resources to broaden their knowledge about different topics. 165 explained that they think critical thinking activities can enhance their educational and professional opportunities. 166 asserted the relevance of the content on these website on making them think critically and 169 students enforced the relevant role of the teacher in encouraging students to express their opinion. 170 students liked the idea of thinking and criticizing topics. 170 judged the experience of thinking and criticizing positively and denoted they would continue the practice.
Critical thinking is a tool that will help students in their education, profession and life at large. Critical thinking will help students understand how things go, connect matter, predict how things can work and think how they will use the knowledge they are learning. Students have a point of view and through the exercises given in class they try to communicate it. The exercises help students to be open to other people's point of view. On the long run, critical thinking will enhance their reflection, prediction, and problem solving skills. Learning critical thinking will increase students' awareness, literacy, and understanding as students will read more as they will not take things for granted. It will also lead to creativity as students will begin to see things differently. They will not only understand the scientific process but they will evaluate, add up, and create new items.
Teachers can incorporate as much of the following techniques: big ideas, essential questions, think- pair-share, jig saw, reflective forms, reflective logs and reflective discussions, field visits and hands on activities, outside-inside- circle, game nights, thinking hats, thinking biases, and thinking versus feelings, picture dictation and running dictation, graphic organizers, comparing and contrasting, understanding by design, technology, debate, discussing the news and media analysis to enhance students' critical thinking skills. The use of these techniques varies according to the teacher design of the curriculum.
The case study and the results of the questionnaires enforce that critical thinking is a skill that can be trained on. It is a skill that help one improve and help others improve. It helps students to improve on both the educational and professional level. It is also a skill that will help students improve their environment as they will always be engaged in discussion, reflection and be open to new ideas, seek improvement and be open to change. In addition, critical thinking will help improve society as students who are future workers, officials, scientists and leaders will all be open to new ideas, change, and improvement.
Limitations and Directions for Future Research
As for the limitations for the action research, it was applied on first year university students only and not on students of different university years. Whether students would continue practicing critical thinking after this course in other ESL courses or other subjects was not researched. In addition, I tried to use as many critical thinking techniques as possible, so researchers can compare the different impact of different techniques on enhancing critical thinking.
Critical thinking is a skill that will help students in their education, profession and life at large. Being critical thinkers, students will not only improve educationally and professionally but will also help improve their environment as they will always be engaged in discussion, reflection and be open to new ideas, seek improvement and be open to change. ESL teachers can integrate critical thinking in the curriculum by incorporating some of these techniques: big ideas, essential questions, think- pair-share, jig saw, reflective forms, reflective logs and reflective discussions, field visits and hands on activities, outside-inside-circle, game nights, thinking hats, thinking biases, and thinking versus feelings, picture dictation and running dictation, graphic organizers, comparing and contrasting, understanding by design, technology, debate, discussing the news and media analysis. The use of these techniques varies according to the teacher design of the curriculum.
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Example comprehension passages with discussion questions. The discussion questions are mine. Teachers can add up discussion questions to the passages. They can hold a discussion prior to the reading or a after the reading. They can use the thinking hats to enhance critical thinking.
Read the passage then answer the questions:
Every year students in many countries learn English. Some of these students are young people, others are teenagers. Many are adults. Some learn at school, others study by themselves. A few learn English just by hearing the language in film on television, in the office or among their friends. But not many are lucky enough to do that. Most people must work hard to learn another language. Many boys and girls learn English at school because it is one of their subjects. They study their own language, mathematics and English. In England, or America, or Australia, many boys and girls study their own language, which is English, and mathematics and another language, perhaps French, or German or Spanish. Many adults learn English, because it is useful for their work. Teenagers often learn English for their higher studies, because some of their books are in English at the college or university. Other people learn English because they want to read newspapers or magazines in English.
(1) According to the writer:
- Only adults learn English.
- No children like learning English.
- English is useful only to teenagers.
- English is popular in much of the worl
(2) Many people learn English by:
- Watching videos only.
- Hearing the language in the office.
- Talking with the film stars.
- Working hard on their lessons.
(3) Many boys and girls learn English because:
- English can give them a job.
- It is included in their study courses.
- Their parents make them.
- They have to study their own language.
(4) In America or Australia many school children study
- English as a foreign language.
- English and mathematics only.
- Such foreign languages as French, German and Spanish.
- Their own language and no foreign language.
(5) Many adults learn English because:
- Their work is useful.
- They want to go abroad.
- Most of their books are in English.
- It helps them in their work
Do you think that learning languages are worthwhile? Why?
If your job does not entail learning languages, will you learn languages and why?
Read the passage then answer the questions
Ted Robinson has been worried all the week. Last Tuesday he received a letter from the local police. In the letter he was asked to call at the station. Ted wondered why he was wanted by the police, but he went to the s tation yesterday and now he is not worried any more. At the station he was told by a smiling policeman that his bicycle had been found. Five days ago, the policeman told him, the bicycle was picked up in a small village four hundred miles away. It is now being sent to his home by train. Ted was most surprised when he heard the news. He was amused too, because he never expected the bicycle to be found. It was stolen twenty years ago when Ted was a boy of fifteen.
(1) Ted was worried because
- He received a letter.
- He went to police station yesterday.
- The police would catch him.
- He didn't know why the police wanted him.
(2) The police who talked to Ted was
(3) Why was Ted very surprised when he heard the news?
- Because his bicycle was stolen 20 years ago.
- Because his bicycle was found when he was a boy of fifteen.
- Because he thought he would never find the bicycle.
- Because the bicycle was sent to him by train.
(4) When was Ted's bicycle found?
- Last Tuesday
- Five days ago
- Twenty years ago
(5)Which of the following statements is not true?
- The police asked Ted to go to the station.
- The policeman told Ted the good news five days ago.
- Ted is no longer anxious.
- Ted is 35 years old now.
The police do not perform its job well. Comment.
The police is full of corruption.
Read the passage then answer the questions
It started 20 years ago. One day, Jane Smith, a busy mom and a loving wife, went shopping for new clothes. After a few hours of searching, she came home exhausted and disappointed. In the mid-80s, few manufacturers made clothes for women over thirty. “Thousands of women in England have the same problem, and I will help them,” – thought Mrs. Smith. With very little money, no connections in the fashion world and a husband who thought that her idea was crazy, the ambitious woman decided to start up her own business.
Jane designed her first collection of twenty clothing items, bought suitable material and sewing machines, and hired experienced tailors. The Smiths’ balcony turned into a workshop. When the collection was ready, Jane offered it to a famous chain of stores. To her surprise, they bought the whole collection at once. When they asked her about the name of her company, Jane looked at her husband, smiled and said: “Crazy Mom”. The collection was sold in a very short time – women liked Jane’s models. In a month, the manager of the chain ordered more clothes from “Crazy Mom” and Jane had to hire more people and find a bigger place for the workshop. The next step was opening her own shop at the central train station in Manchester.
Now “Crazy Mom” has 50 boutiques all over the world. Mr. Smith left his job as an engineer and became head of the company. Their four children also work in the company and, according to Jane, this is what makes the business so successful.
1. Why didn’t Jane manage to buy any clothes?
2. What difficulties did Jane face when starting up her business?
3. What special trait helped Jane succeed in her new career?
4. What did Mrs. Smith do in order to start her business?
5. Where did Jane sew her first collection? ____________________________________________________
6. Why did Jane decide to call her collection “Crazy Mom”? _______________________________________________________
7. What did Jane do when the manager ordered more clothes?
8. What fact proves that that “Crazy Mom” is a successful company?
Why do think is the number of working mums increasing?
The government should ban the work of mums of new born?
A reading passage with the thinking hats involved (questions 7-10 are mine):
Biofuels and the Environment
Instructions: Read through the text below, answer the questions that follow.
Leading investors have joined the growing chorus of concern about governments and companies rushing into producing biofuels as a solution for global warming, saying that many involved in the sector could be jeopardising future profits if they do not consider the long-term impact of what they are doing carefully.
It is essential to build sustainability criteria into the supply chain of any green fuel project in order to ensure that there is no adverse effect on the surrounding environment and social structures. The report produced by the investors expresses concern that many companies may not be fully aware of the potential pitfalls in the biofuel sector.
Production of corn and soya beans has increased dramatically in the last years as an eco-friendly alternative to fossil fuels but environmental and human rights campaigners are worried that this will lead to destruction of rain forests. Food prices could also go up as there is increased competition for crops as both foodstuffs and sources of fuel. Last week, the UN warned that biofuels could have dangerous side effects and said that steps need to be taken to make sure that land converted to grow biofuels does not damage the environment or cause civil unrest. There is already great concern about palm oil, which is used in many foods in addition to being an important biofuel, as rain forests are being cleared in some countries and people driven from their homes to create palm oil plantations.
An analyst and author of the investors' report says that biofuels are not a cure for climate change but they can play their part as long as governments and companies manage the social and environmental impacts thoroughly. There should also be greater measure taken to increase efficiency and to reduce demand.
1 - ____ are worried about the boom in biofuels.
- Few people
- Many people
- Only these leading investors
2 - Biofuel producers ____ know about the possible problems.
- do not
- might not
- must not
3 - Environmentalists believe that increased production of corn and soya
- has destroyed rain forests.
- may lead to the destruction of rain forests.
- will lead to the destruction of rain forests.
4 - Biofuels might
- drive food prices up.
- drive food prices down.
- have little or no impact on food prices.
5 - The increased production of palm oil
- just affects the environment.
- just affects people.
- affects both people and the environment.
6 - The author of the report says that biofuels
- have no role to play in fighting global warming.
- can be effective in fighting global warming on their own.
- should be part of a group of measures to fight global warming.
7–What are the facts? What information do the readers need to find out concerning biofuels?
8- What are the advantages and benefits of using biofuels? What are the disadvantages?
9- What possible ideas for fuel problem can be applied in Egypt?
10- Where are we now concerning the fuel problem? What do we need to do next?
Note: Designed by the researcher.
The purpose of this instrument is to assess your level of critical thinking. Your honest responses to the questionnaire items are highly appreciated. Thank you very much for the time you are devoting to our research project.
Beginning of term questionnaire:
How do you solve your problems?
Do you believe everything you hear?
How do you feel when asked about your opinion?
Are you a fan of Facebook? Do you believe everything you read on Facebook?
Do you like questions of opinion?
Do you say your real opinion when you answer questions of opinion?
Do you think you need training on answering questions of opinion? Why?
l=disagree totally 2= disagree 3=not strong opinion 4=agree 5= strongly agree
For each indicator, please select the rating that best represents the current state of your practice. Use O (often), U (usually), S (sometimes), R (rarely), or N (never).
Mid Term Questionnaire
l=disagree totally 2= disagree 3=not strong opinion 4=agree 5=agree strongly
Answer the following questions:
Do you like the experience of adding discussion questions to the reading passages?
What are the positives and negatives of adding critical thinking activities to the ESL curriculum?
Do you find critical thinking activities consuming?
End of Term Questionnaire:
I online questionnaire please take this paper-based questionnaire:
Please answer these two questions:
Did you like adding up the critical thinking activities to the ESL curriculum? Why?
Do you like that practice of adding the critical thinking activities continue in the next English courses? Why?
After the course and the integration of critical thinking activities in the English curriculum answer the following questions concerning your behavior:
- In a typical day, how likely are you to think about a topic you read on, or heard about?
- Extremely likely
- Very likely
- Moderately likely
- Slightly likely
- Not at all likely
- In a typical day, how likely are you to judge and comment on material sent to your Facebook page?
- Extremely likely
- Very likely
- Moderately likely
- Slightly likely
- Not at all likely
- In a typical month, how likely are you to use e-resources to broaden your knowledge about a topic?
- Extremely likely
- Very likely
- Moderately likely
- Slightly likely
- Not at all likely
4) Do you think critical thinking activities can enhance your educational and professional opportunities?
- Yes, they can
- No, they can not
5(Which internet websites did you find most helpful during your self-study at home?
- American English
- You Tube
- RSA animate
- Other (please specify)
6) Does the content on these website help you think critically?
- Extremely likely
- Very likely
- Moderately likely
- Slightly likely
- Not at all likely
7 (Did your teacher encourage you express your opinion?
- S/he was not that encouraging.
Answer these questions:
1. Did you like the idea of thinking and criticizing topics?
2. How can you judge the experience of thinking and criticizing?
3. Will you continue the practice?
4. Will you teach your mates about this practice?
5. Did the critical thinking practice help you throughout the course? Why or why not?
6. If we do this again, what can I do differently to help you learn more?
7. Did the critical thinking activities help you learn more?
8. Did you start the habit of thinking critically when studying other subjects? Why or why not?
Coaching English in Class or Online: For Lower Intermediate Level and Above, Emmanuelle Betham, UK
EFL Students as Young Poets, Phuong Le, Vietnam
Emotional Equations, Marta Rosińska, Poland
YouTube Stories for the Classroom, Jamie Keddie, Spain