Integrating Critical Thinking Skills into the Exploration of Culture in an EFL Setting

This course is delivered by World Learning- SIT Grad Institute

Course overview

Exploration of culture in an EFL setting requires helping students engage in authentic situations to develop the ability to navigate across a variety of cultures. This intercultural ability requires language choices and awareness of oneself as a cultural being. It also requires critical thinking skills, which are themselves culturally defined. Using experiential learning as the organizational model, this course will engage participants in analyzing personal experiences, media, EFL textbooks, and classrooms to develop the capacity to think critically about the cultural assumptions and viewpoints embedded in their teaching content and process. After examining themselves as cultural beings and assessing learners’ needs and goals, participants will develop a concrete teaching lesson that reflects their view of teaching critical thinking and intercultural competence in their particular context.

Learning Objectives and Learner Outcomes

By the end of the eight-week course, participants will be able to:

  • Define the dimensions of culture and critical thinking as they pertain to teaching in their context;
  • Develop an increased understanding of critical thinking, experiential learning, and intercultural learning skills and the connections between them;
  • Further develop their ability to learn and teach intercultural competence and critical thinking by applying observation, inquiry, multiple perspective analysis, and self-reflection to their exploration of cultural phenomena;
  • Further develop their ability to learn and teach intercultural skills of active listening and empathy;
  • Critically analyze EFL textbooks’ treatment of culture;
  • Develop their own assumptions about the teaching of culture in their context;
  • Create lesson plans which integrate cultural learning and critical thinking;
  • Reflect on, and critically analyze, their lessons.