A culture of thinking in the EFL classroom

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Teaching EFL is not just about language, or rather, it's all about it. By teaching a foreign language we engage ourselves (teachers and students) in ways and processes of thinking that can harness better decision making, broader ways of understanding the world, and sound /deep ways to see how our world works.

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A culture of thinking in the EFL classroom

  1. 1. A Culture of Thinking HOW ACTIVITIES AND RESOURCES SUPPORT THINKING
  2. 2. Word Cloud Think Guess Predict Apply / Solve The language of thinking
  3. 3. Look at the pictures: what could you / your students ask?
  4. 4. …Why?
  5. 5. Children enter schools with so many questions TEENAGERS FINISHING HIGH SCHOOL MAY SEEM TO HAVE FEWER QUESTIONS TO VOICE / ASK. WHY?
  6. 6. What is thinking?
  7. 7. What is thinking? John Dewey Paulo Freire Critical Thinking.org We do not learn from experience...we learn from reflecting on experience. To simply think about the people, as the dominators do, without any self-giving in that thought, to fail to think with the people, is a sure way to cease being revolutionary leaders. Critical thinking is that mode of thinking about any subject, content, or problem - in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them. For Freire, the educational process is never neutral. People can be passive recipients of knowledge — whatever the content — or they can engage in a ‘problem-posing’ approach in which they become active participants. As part of this approach, it is essential that people link knowledge to action so that they actively work to change their societies at a local level and beyond. The ability to think critically, as conceived in this volume, involves three things: ( 1 ) an attitude of being disposed to consider in a thoughtful way the problems and subjects that come within the range of one's experiences, (2) knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning, and (3) some skill in applying those methods. (Glaser, 1941) We only think when confronted with a problem. There's all the difference in the world between having something to say, and having to say something.
  8. 8. What is thinking?  Let’s refine our own definition…
  9. 9. Classroom- based questions  Can we “teach” thinking in our EFL classroom?  Can kids and teenagers “learn” how to think?  What practices in your experience could promote (better) thinking?
  10. 10. ACTIVITIES: how could you promote thinking? Group ideas!
  11. 11. Teaching Thinking IN THE EFL CLASSROOM
  12. 12. Revised Bloom’s taxonomy
  13. 13. Questions based on Bloom’s taxonomy  KNOWLEDGE  remembering  memorizing  recognizing  recalling identification  recalling information  who, what, when, where, how ...?  describe
  14. 14. Questions based on Bloom’s taxonomy  COMPREHENSION  interpreting  translating from one medium to another  describing in one's own words  organization and selection of facts and ideas  retell...
  15. 15. Questions based on Bloom’s taxonomy  APPLICATION  problem solving  applying information to produce some result  use of facts, rules and principles  how is ... an example of ...?  how is ... related to ...?  why is ... significant?
  16. 16. Questions based on Bloom’s taxonomy  ANALYSIS  subdividing something to show how it is put together  finding the underlying structure of a communication  identifying motives  separation of a whole into component parts  what are the parts or features of ...?  classify ... according to ...  outline/diagram ...  how does ... compare/contrast with ...?  what evidence can you list for ...?
  17. 17. Questions based on Bloom’s taxonomy  SYNTHESIS   creating a unique, original product that may be in verbal form or may be a physical object combination of ideas to form a new whole  what would you predict/infer from ...?  what ideas can you add to ...?  how would you create/design a new ...?  what might happen if you combined ...?  what solutions would you suggest for ...?
  18. 18. Questions based on Bloom’s taxonomy  EVALUATION  making value decisions about issues  resolving controversies or differences of opinion  development of opinions, judgments or decisions  do you agree that ...?  what do you think about ...?  what is the most important ...?  place the following in order of priority ...  how would you decide about ...?  what criteria would you use to assess ...?
  19. 19. Revised Bloom’s taxonomy
  20. 20. Wrapping up: at the lab  What are characteristics of a good activities and resources?  What makes those activities better for teaching thinking skills? TASK: A teacher’s options when designing resources 1. Choose an activity from your textbook and exploit possibilities for teaching thinking. 2. Work with two other colleages 3. Present activity as suggest in your textbook 4. Present a resource that makes your activity an opportunity for teaching / learning better thinking.

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