From Narativity to Criticality: Developing EFL Learners’ Critical Thinking Skills through Short Narratives/Stories Reading

Ashkan Pashangzadeh, Moussa Ahmadian, Hooshang Yazdani

Abstract


Regarding the ever presence of narratives/stories in almost all aspects of human beings’ lives and the significance of Critical Thinking (CT) as an important factor in directing students to avenues of success in both educational and non-educational contexts, this study attempted to investigate the effectiveness of reading short narratives in EFL learners’ CT skills development. To this end, 59 undergraduate EFL learners majoring in English translation participated in the study. Taking into consideration the participants’ homogeneity in language proficiency and CT skills, 54 were finally selected and put into two experimental and control groups, namely, Narrative and Non-narrative groups, and 27 participants in each group. Short narrative and non-narrative (expository) texts, as elicitation tasks, were used for Narrative and Non-narrative groups respectively. Using a learner oriented approach, communicative reading strategies were incorporated into the course design for both groups. Statistical results, under the influence of 12 treatment sessions, indicated the out-performance of Narrative group, in comparison with Non-narrative one, from the pretest to the post-test (California Critical Thinking Skills Test, CCTST). Possible explanations for the difference in participants’ CT skills and potential pedagogical implications of the findings for language learning and teaching have been discussed.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/elr.v2i1.8952

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Education and Linguistics Research  ISSN 2377-1356

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