Critical Thinking College and University Education Practice-Oriented Short Workshop

Strategies for Promoting Critical Thinking in University Classes

Sun, Jul 10, 10:35-11:00 Asia/Tokyo

Location: F22: DO NOT RECORD

This workshop will outline practical approaches instructors can make use of in the classroom to promote the development of critical thinking skills in second language classes. The development of critical thinking skills remains central to the acquisition of effective, academic language skills (Benesch, 1999; Halvorsen, 2005). However, many instructors hesitate to target the development of such skills in language classes, fearing accusations of bias or being concerned about how to integrate the teaching of critical thinking and second language skills. After arguing briefly for the importance of teaching such skills in university classes, attendees will be introduced to several practical tasks and activities that can be used to promote the development of critical thinking skills. The ways in which critical thinking connects directly to academic writing, presentation, and discussion skills will be highlighted, and attendees will be given the opportunity to consider how tasks can be adapted for use in their specific teaching contexts. Advice will be given regarding how to remain fair and impartial when addressing controversial subjects, and strategies to help support students in independently developing ideas that are deep, logical, and coherent.

  • Shalvin Singh

    Shalvin Singh is an EFL instructor from Canada who has been teaching for more than ten years in Asia. His research interests include the teaching of presentation skills, critical thinking skills, and foreign language assessment. He currently teaches at Kanda University of International Studies .