Why critical thinking?
As one of the key components of life skills, critical thinking is a skill that everyone, young or adult, should be good at.
What is critical thinking?
Critical thinking is often used to refer to the ability to think clearly and reasonably about what to do and what to believe, the ability to perform reflectively and think independently.
Here is a quick checklist of what critical thinking comprises:
-Asking probing questions regarding a topic
-Researching and analysis
-defending your opinions
-Applying higher-order thinking to a challenge
-Modifying your biases
How to incorporate critical thinking into our online ELT classroom to supplement teaching materials
At B1 and above:
- Put student into pairs or groups and ask probing questions. For example, “What social media do you use more than once a day? Make a list and compare your answers.” This sample question invites critical thinking in terms of ranking and comparing.
- Put students into pairs and send out different photos (Photo A to Student A and Photo B to Student B)to each pair. Give them 3 minutes to look at the photo before describing it to their partner. When SA is done with the talking, switch the role. This information-gap activity also incorporates critical thinking in terms of comparing and contrasting.
- Put students into mixed-ability groups in a project-based learning (PBL) activity. The nature of PBL naturally lends itself to the idea of problem solving, which resonates with what critical thinking promotes. in addition to problem solving, students are also given opportunities to explore different types of sources and evaluate their validity.
Critical Thinking for Life
Critical thinking is a skill that is beneficial to us for our whole life. As language teachers, we should help our students cultivate love for it. To achieve this goal, it is essential to let them know that critical thinking is not an intimidating task. On the contrary, it should be seen as a useful skill that can help them solve problems and challenges for life.