Critical thinking in the language classroom: Teacher beliefs and methods

V. Tuzlukova, S. Al Busaidi, S. L. Burns*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (SciVal)


In recent years, English language teaching and research in the Sultanate of Oman has witnessed a significant increase in the emphasis upon critical thinking skills development alongside language proficiency. Fostering a perspective of commitment to teaching critical thinking skills in line with the English language courses, this paper reports on a study conducted at the Language Centre at Sultan Qaboos University. In particular, it explores English language teachers' conceptual definitions of critical thinking, their beliefs about the significance of critical thinking for language teaching and connections between critical thinking and language teaching methods. The results of the study's survey, supported by concrete examples from the classroom, suggest that the ultimate majority of those teachers (96%) recognise the central role played by critical thinking in effective language pedagogy. The results also indicate teachers' preference for aligning their teaching methods with the functional-communicative approach, related to Ennis' (2011) critical thinking categories. They also suggest a predisposition for employing practical aspects of critical thinking teaching methodologies in the English language classroom to more holistically prepare students for further academic studies and their future careers in the workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-633
Number of pages19
JournalPertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Critical thinking
  • Learner autonomy
  • Oman
  • Problem solving
  • Reflective thinking
  • Skills for the 21st century

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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