Effects of Explicit Teaching of Critical Thinking Strategies on EFL Learners' Reading Comprehension

Document Type : Original Article


Department of English Language and Literature, Urmia University


beyond rote learning and to enhance their academic achievement, it is an under-researched construct in ELT contexts. Therefore, this study investigated whether explicit teaching of critical thinking through amalgamation of Critical Discourse Analysis and Critical Linguistics (group 1), Asking 11 Right Questions (group 2), and amalgamation of Critical Discourse Analysis and Critical Linguistics accompanied by Peer-evaluation (group 3) can improve Reading Comprehension abilities of university students in an EFL context.  In so doing, the study utilized a mixed methods design including quasi-experimental and narrative feedback; with 16 participants in groups 1 and 2 each, 15 participants in group 3 as experimental groups, and 15 participants in group 4 as control group. Reading comprehension and critical thinking pretests were employed to homogenize groups at the beginning of the study; then every session 3 provocative texts were applied for critical analysis based on the treatments students received within five sessions. The reading comprehension post-test results indicated that explicit teaching of critical thinking through Asking 11 Right Questions had the highest and most significant influence on reading comprehension ability followed by two other experimental groups with control group representing no significant gain. The findings imply that reflecting critically on learning materials can illuminate hidden cultural and ideological aspects of the texts which consequently helps learners to better understand the text, and to defend against cultural invasion.  


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