Fiction From a Critical Perspective
Keywords:critical thinking, EFL, higher education, novel, novella, short story
With English as a lingua franca in mind, it has become essential for undergraduate students to acquire the English language. Additionally, undergraduate students are expected to acquire a repertoire of critical thinking skills for lifelong learning. Inspired by the need to augment mastery of English as a foreign language (EFL) whilst at the same time enhancing critical thinking on the part of EFL learners, the research study this paper portrays was conducted for one academic semester involving a number of students at the institution where the author of this paper works. The research aimed to investigate whether using English novels; novellas; and short stories for teaching purposes would have any significant impacts on subjects’ attitudes towards using literary texts for enhancement of both critical thinking and EFL skills. To achieve the intended aim, the researcher used eight English short stories and one novella in class besides assigning one English novel as extensive reading, while teaching the course Communication Skills during the implementation stage. The researcher also administered a pre-post questionnaire with the aim of measuring subjects’ attitudes towards utilizing novels; novellas; and short stories as a means for fostering both critical thinking and EFL skills. Based on the statistical tests, there were significant differences in favor of the post questionnaire regarding the majority of the questionnaire’s items. Based on this study, it can be concluded that English novels; novellas; and short stories have a significant role to play in relation to developing critical thinking and EFL skills.
Al-Alami, S. (2016). Literature in the EFL World: Points to Ponder. International Journal of English Language and Literature Studies, 5(3): 144-153.
Barry, S. and Lazarte, A. (1998). Evidence for Mental Models. The Modern Language Journal, 82 (1): 176-193.
Beachboard, M.R. and Beachboard, J.C. (2010). Critical-Thinking Pedagogy and Student Perceptions of University Contributions to Their Academic Development. Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline, Vol. 13: 53-67.
Bell, D.C. (1995). Motivation and Critical Pedagogy. Dissertation Abstracts International, 57 (6): 2395.
Collins, C. (1993). Reading Instruction That Increases Thinking Abilities. Journal of Reading, 34(7): 510-516.
Commeyras, M. (1993). Promoting Critical Thinking through Dialogical-Thinking Reading Lessons. The Reading Teacher, 46 (6): 486-495.
Cots, J.M. (2006). Teaching with an Attitude: Critical Discourse Analysis in EFL Teaching. ELT Journal, 60 (4): 336-345.
Dooley, C. (1993). The Challenge: Meeting the Needs of Gifted Readers. The Reading Teacher, 46 (7): 446-551.
Durant, A. et al. (2000). Ways of Reading: Advanced Reading Skills for Students of English Literature (2nd edition). London and New York: Routledge.
Esplugas, C. and Landwehr, M. (1996). The Use of Critical Thinking Skills in Literary Analysis. Foreign Language Annals, 29 (3): 449-462.
Gelder, T.V. (2005). Teaching Critical Learning: Some Lessons from Cognitive Science. College Teaching, 45 (1): 1-6.
Hyatt, D. (2005). A Critical Literacy Frame for UK Secondary Education. English in Education, 39 (1): 43-59.
Kagnaritch, C., Theara, C., and Klein, A. (2007). A Questionnaire Project: Integrating the Four Macro Skills with Critical Thinking. English Teaching Forum, 45 (1): 2-9.
Kutz, E. et al. (1993). The Discovery of Competence. United States of America: Cook Publishers.
Manning, W.J. (1997). The Relationship between Critical Thinking and Attitudes toward Reading of the Community College Student Enrolled in a Critical Reading Course at Roane State Community College. Dissertation Abstracts International, 59 (8): 2838-2839.
Na, Y.H. and Kim, S.J. (2003). Critical Literacy in the EFL Classroom. English Teaching, 58 (3): 143-163.
Paltridge, B. (2004). Academic Writing. Language Teaching Journal, Vol. 37: 87-105.
Pierce, B. (2005). Handbook of Critical Thinking Resources. United States of America: Macmillan.
Pike-Baky, M. (2005, March). Three Powerful Strategies for Developing Critical Readers. Paper presented at the TESOL Arabia Annual International Conference 2005. Dubai: Al Bustan Rotana Hotel.
Ritchart, R. and Perkins, D.N. (2005). Learning to Think: The Challenges of Teaching Thinking. In Keith, J. et al. (eds.) The Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press: 775-802.
Semerci, C. and Elaldi, S. (2014). The Roles of Metacognitive Beliefs in Developing Critical Thinking Skills. Bartin University Journal of Faculty of Education, 3 (2): 317-333.
Tosuncuoglu, I. (2018). English Language and Literature Students' Perceptions of Critical Thinking. International Journal of Higher Education, 7(5): 20-28.
Tung C-A. and Chang, S-Y. (2009). Developing Critical Thinking through Literature Reading. Feng China Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, Vol. 19: 287-317.
Wallace, C. (2003). Critical Reading in Language Education. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
Wiboonwachara, L. (2019). The Effects of Questioning Technique on Critical Thinking of Thai EFL Learners. The New English Teacher, 13 (2): 12-23.
Yang, Y-C. and Gamble, J. (2013). Effective and Practical Thinking-Enhanced EFL Instruction. ELT Journal, 67(4): 398-412.
Zyngier, S. and Fialho, O. (2010). Pedagogical Stylistics, Literary Awareness and Empowerment: A Critical Perspective. Language and Literature, 19 (1): 13-33.