The Relationship between Critical Thinking Skills and In-Class Questioning Behaviors of English Language Teaching Students

Nov. 20, 2008

Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Volume 31, Issue 4, November 2008, pages 389 - 402

It is important that trainee teachers in the faculties of education should develop their critical thinking skills so that they can meet the expectations and needs of their profession.
The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between critical thinking skills and in-class questioning behaviors of English Language Teaching (ELT) students at the Faculty of Education at Mugla University.
The authors attempted to find out answers to the following questions:
1) What kinds of questions do students in lower and higher critical thinking groups ask?'
2) 'Is there a difference between the questions of students with higher and lower critical thinking scores?'
Three data collection instruments were used: Ennis-Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test;
a reading passage; and a structured interview.

The data suggest that the questions asked by the students of the higher critical thinking score group are not questions that clarify unclear points, but questions asked out of curiosity, to remove the uncertainties, and to lead people to think profoundly.
Moreover, these students ask questions to find alternatives, to think the reverse and to head for new ideas. The students in the higher score group experienced thinking processes more intensively than the lower score group.

Updated: Feb. 04, 2009