Critical thinking in English language teaching in the Vietnamese context: perceptions and university students' competence
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 11:20 authored by Thi Nu Anh Vo
This study examines the importance and feasibility of critical thinking (CT) in English language teaching (ELT) in the Vietnamese tertiary context. CT, which has now become a worldwide phenomenon, is considered to be one of the essential skills that students must learn in order to succeed in their studies at university and in their life after university. However, there exists a mismatch between a growing tendency in Vietnamese universities, due to globalization, to build CT into the curriculum of different disciplines, even the discipline of English Linguistics and Literature, on the one hand, and limited, dated literature on CT in ELT on the other hand. This study investigates CT in ELT in the perceptions of teachers and students at a leading public university in Vietnam, and examines senior students’ competence in CT. Evidence was collected through two questionnaires, two CT tasks and interviews in a qualitative case study within an interpretive research paradigm. Findings revealed (1) that CT, which all the participants could formulate an idea of, was perceived to be especially important in ELT, appropriate for Vietnamese students, and congruent with the Vietnamese context of ELT; (2) that a majority of the participants adopted positive attitudes towards the specification of CT as a programme/course learning outcome; and (3) that senior students’ CT competence was evaluated to vary along a continuum, though mainly gathering around the average level.