Integrating Critical Thinking Skills in Reading Courses at the University Level The Case of Faculty of Letters and Humanities, Beni-Mellal, Morocco
Special aspects of education
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AbstractCritical thinking has been used and debated since the time of great philosophers such as Plato and Socrates. Its real origin is deeply rooted in the logic and questioning process used by these early philosophers. In recent times many scholars and researchers have conducted studies concerning the benefits and effects of critical thinking skills in different disciplines to the extent that now we are speaking about critical thinking movement whose benefits are much discussed in educational curricula. In language learning, activities that enrich learners’ conceptual knowledge ranging from listening, reading, speaking, and writing tasks can foster critical thinking skills. Within this framework, a study was carried out at Sultan Moulay Slimane University, Faculty of Letters and Humanities in Beni-Mellal. The aim of this study is twofold. First, to see the possibility of integrating critical thinking skills in reading courses; second, to investigate the attitudes of the students towards such integration of critical thinking. Two research tools were used: an experiment followed by a questionnaire. The findings revealed that after the experiment, which consisted of exposing the students to tasks involving critical thinking when dealing with the reading skill, the students developed an awareness of critical thinking skills and dispositions. They developed the ability of interpretation, analysis, inquisitiveness, truth-seeking, problem-solving, evaluating information and decision making. Besides, their attitudes towards the integration of critical thinking while dealing with reading were reported to be positive.