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Title: Developing critical thinking skills through integrative teaching of reading and writing in the L2 writing classroom
Author: Turuk Kuek, Mamour Choul
ISNI:       0000 0004 2707 2135
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2010
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Applying sociocultural principles of mediation, collaboration and scaffolding as the underpinning theory, combined with the integrative teaching of reading and writing method, this study explored how L2 students’ thinking and reasoning abilities as manifested in their argumentative writing skills can be improved. Students’ creative and critical thinking skills and their ability to write logically and intelligently are part of English teaching objectives in the Sudan. However, there are no explicit guidelines on how they could be achieved. In this study therefore, argumentative/persuasive writing is considered to be a manifestation of critical thinking skills, since a writer needs to analyse, evaluate and counter arguments and present a logical text to convince the reader. Thirty, first year university students from the faculty of Medicine, Upper Nile University, Sudan were randomly selected. They were first pre-tested and then randomly assigned into experimental and comparison groups. A twelve-week intervention was conducted in which the experimental group were taught reasoning and critical thinking to enhance their argumentative writing abilities employing integrative teaching of reading and writing method in conjunction with sociocultural principles and Paul and Elder’s (2006, 2007) close reading strategies. After the intervention, the groups were post-tested and a month later after the completion of the study they were post-post-tested. The nature of the tests was argumentative written compositions. In addition, pre and post focus groups interviews were conducted with the experimental group to explore their perceptions and attitudes towards thinking skills before and after the intervention. These interviews were organised to enable the researcher to trace and monitor how students’ ideas and perceptions changed as a result of the intervention. The study found among others that students’ critical thinking, reasoning and argumentative writing skills improved dramatically after the intervention. In addition, there were improvements in their perceptions and attitudes towards thinking skills as well as in their understanding of the cognitive relationship between reading and writing. Moreover, a remarkable improvement in their spoken English was recorded as well as they developed positive attitudes towards learning English. The study concluded that critical thinking skills can be taught at post secondary school level. It recommended that future research should investigate the complexity of argumentative texts written by L2 students and how the complexity of their thinking may lead to the increasing sophistication of the language produced.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Sudan Government ; Upper Nile University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available