‘Critical Thinking Skills Instruction and Reading between the Lines’ – Hossein Pourghasemian & S. Mohammad Bagherzadeh Hosseini

Abstract

Critical thinking (CT) is an important life skill in modern societies and is of particular import in academic settings where students need to be able to analyze ideas to get at clear understanding. However, unlike ordinary thinking, which is an inborn human endowment, CT seems to require implicit or explicit instruction. Attempts have been made to introduce it into general education. And like any other innovation, it has found its way to second language pedagogy. Hence, there have been studies to relate CT to second language acquisition (SLA) in general and language skills in particular. This study set out to see if training in CT skills had any effect on the inferential reading comprehension. Sixty college students were selected through a proficiency (TOEFL) test and were then randomly assigned to two equal sized groups: critical and noncritical. Both groups received reading comprehension instruction, but the critical group got supplemental in CT skills. A specially tailored reading test was administered to measure the participants’ inferential understanding. The results indicated that the critical group outperformed the noncritical group t (58) = 3.27, p > 0.5. The implication for language teaching may be either adoption of a critical orientation to teaching, or adaptation of CT skills to fit the language class.

Index Terms: critical thinking, inferential reading comprehension, second language acquisition.

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‘The Effect of Teachers’ Beliefs on Improving Students’ English Language Vocabulary’ by Fatemeh Deilami & Hossein Pourghasemian

Abstract

Teachers’ beliefs are important for pursuing and improving English language learning, especially the vocabulary case. They closely guide language teachers to adopt their teaching strategies for coping with their daily language teaching challenges to elevate and accelerate the learning of English language words. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the use of teachers’ beliefs during studies improves students’ learning of English language words .This research was conducted with 40 male EFL learners of 18-30, studying at Safir Institute, Karaj branch. To determine its homogeneity, the researcher performed a proficiency test. They were set into control and experimental groups. The experimental group was presented with the treatment which were the teachers’ beliefs during the class, while working on memorizing words and its meanings as well as sentences in which the vocabularies were used, while the control group was given no treatment. It was continued for two sessions a week, and four weeks per month. A T-test, using SPSS, was administered to show the possible differences available between the two groups. It was understood that the students improved, memorized and remembered significantly more words while they had the teachers’ beliefs.

Index Terms: Experimental groups, Teachers’ beliefs, T-Test, Vocabulary.

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