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Embedding Critical Thinking in International Studies Language Programs

11 pagesPublished: February 12, 2020


In the language component of International Studies BA programs, students do not attain proficiency levels high enough to enable them to develop their critical thinking skills in dealing with texts from the target culture(s). This is especially true for the so- called Less-Commonly Taught Languages. Designing the final course in the language sequence as a 'Language in Practice' course addresses this issue through Task-Based Language Teaching. Abandoning proficiency goal for higher performance goals, and focusing on only a subset of language modes of communication enables integrating critical thinking skills in specific relevant contexts. Maintaining only relevant aspects of Task-Based Language Teaching and allowing others to be carried out in English rather than the target language can preserve task authenticity, and allow for more in- depth development of critical thinking skills using texts from the target cultures.

Keyphrases: Critical Thinking in Language Teaching, International Studies, Language Performance Assessment, task-based language teaching, Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language

In: Claudia Urrea (editor). Proceedings of the MIT LINC 2019 Conference, vol 3, pages 1--11

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Hossam Ahmed},
  title     = {Embedding Critical Thinking in International Studies Language Programs},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the MIT LINC 2019 Conference},
  editor    = {Claudia Urrea},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Education Science},
  volume    = {3},
  pages     = {1--11},
  year      = {2020},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2516-2306},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/j4dd}}
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