Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 00 — www. Among these factors is the assessment methods used.
Creative and Critical Thinking in Language Classrooms Muhammad Kamarul Kabilan University Technology MARA Kedah, Malaysia The communicative approach to language teaching emphasizes the use of language, meaning and language as a communication tool and hypothesizes that learners become proficient by using the language and not just by learning about the language.
However, it is the view of this writer that merely using the language and knowing the meaning is not enough. To become proficient in a language, learners need to use creative and critical thinking through the target language.
This paper explains what is needed and how it is achieved. Introduction In this paper, Paulo Freire's ideas and approach are adopted, especially the concepts of "Pedagogy of Questions" and "Problem-posing".
I will attend to the questions of what teachers need in order to develop creative and critical language learners, and how they could achieve it. A couple of sample activities are given to substantiate the explanations.
Background The communicative approach to language teaching began to overshadow the systematic approach in the s. The latter outlined that if learners are to be proficient in the language, they must master the mechanism by which the language works, and learn the language system.
On the contrary the communicative approach emphasized that learners become proficient by using the language, and not by just merely learning about the language. However, by only using and knowing the meaning, learners do not become proficient in the target language.
I strongly believe that learners can only become proficient language users if they, besides using the language and knowing the meaning, could display creative and critical thinking through the language. This implies that the learners must be creative in their production of ideas, and critically support them with logical explanation, details and examples.
Nevertheless, creative and critical thinking skills should not be taught separately as an isolated entity, but embedded in the subject matter and "woven into the curriculum" Mirman and Tishman, Creative and Critical Language Learners For the purpose of this paper, creative and critical language learners are defined in terms of the learners' cognitive abilities to carry out certain tasks effectively.
The creative language learners should be able to combine responses or ideas in novel ways Smith, Ward and Finke,and to use elaborate, intricate, and complex stimuli and thinking patterns Feldman, As for the critical language learners, they must be able to carefully and deliberately determine to accept, reject or suspend judgment about a claim Moore and Parker, Critical language learners must also be able to identify and cite good reasons for their opinions and answers, correct themselves and others' methods and procedures, and adapt to uniformities, regularities, irregular circumstances, special limitations, constraints and over-generalizations Lipman, What is Needed Having said what is expected of creative and critical language learners, we ought to scrutinize the roles of the teachers as they have an enormous amount of responsibilities in classrooms.
They determine and dictate the content, activities and processes of teaching and learning in classrooms. It is the teachers who decide on the aims, goals, and strategies of teaching to be implemented in classrooms. If teachers decide to produce learners who would obtain good results in their examinations, then their contents, activities and strategies of teaching would vastly differ from the ones who resolved to nurture creative and critical language learners.
This has led me to conclude that the only element needed to address this issue is the change of teachers' attitudes towards of students, pedagogy, and themselves as teachers.
Attitude towards Students There are teachers who regard learners as empty vessels, which need to be filled with knowledge. The teachers tend to assume that the learners do not have any, or little prior knowledge and experiences regarding the subject matter that is going to be taught in classrooms.
These teachers ignore, knowingly or unknowingly, the individuality of students. They fail to understand and appreciate the learners' own unique experiences, and concepts, notions and views of the world.
Teachers who do not acknowledge each learner's individuality will often lead a boring and unimaginative language classroom because of the minimal participation and involvement of learners. The learners will feel left out and assume their opinions and beliefs as not relevant or important enough to be heard in the classroom.
Eventually, this would pave the way to a molding process of passive language learners, and be a cause to the detriment of creative and critical thinking.
Teachers could gain much by listening to the learners' opinions and beliefs. The obvious one being the enrichment of experience, ideas and thoughts in a discussion of an issue.
For this to flow without hindrance, teachers should develop a mutual relationship with their learners. Freire described this relationship as "I-thou relationship between two subjects". This means that teachers need to consider learners as individuals who are equals in a situation of genuine two-way communication Spener, 1.
Understanding When we read or listen to a text, we process it and then try to understand it. In our native language this is simply a case of knowing what we are reading, seeing or listening to. This paper deals with the problem of critical thinking development in EFL teaching.
Having analyzed the definitions of critical thinking, Bloom's taxonomy of pedagogical aims was chosen as a basis for the development of these skills.
The term ‘Critical Thinking’ first started emerging in academic circles and literature in the mid- twentieth century. In , the academic Edward M. Glaser stressed that critical thinking referred to. Critical thinking refers to the individuals’ ability to think and make correct decisions independently.
Nowadays enhancing critical thinking in learners is considered one of the foreign language teachers’ tasks due to its high position in foreign language classrooms. Critical thinking refers to the individuals’ ability to think and make correct decisions independently.
Nowadays enhancing critical thinking in learners is considered one of the foreign language. 76 Critical Thinking: Teaching Foreign Notions to Foreign Students However, research findings have revealed that the problems are much deeper than just language proficiency.