Developing Criticality in Practice Through Foreign Language Education

by Stephanie Houghton (Author) Etsuko Yamada (Author)
©2012 Monographs 188 Pages


Many universities have adopted criticality as a general aim of higher education, in order to meet the demands of an increasingly globalised world. But what is criticality, and how does it develop in practice? This book explores the concept in detail and considers how it can be systematically developed in practical ways through foreign language education.
Taking a practice-first rather than a theory-first approach, the book presents two case studies based on action research in order to investigate criticality development through foreign language education. One study was conducted in beginner level Japanese language classes at a British university by a Japanese teacher-researcher, and the other was conducted in upper-intermediate English language classes at a Japanese university by a British teacher-researcher. The two studies illuminate the complex experiences of students and teachers as criticality starts to develop in both planned and unplanned ways, from beginner-level to more advanced levels of foreign language learning. The authors also suggest a range of practical teaching approaches which can be used to develop criticality through targeted instruction.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2012 (April)
Criticality development Relating self and other Critical analysis of identities Critical evaluation and self-development
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2012. XII, 188 pp., num. tables and graphs

Biographical notes

Stephanie Houghton (Author) Etsuko Yamada (Author)

Stephanie Houghton is an Associate Professor in Intercultural Communication at Saga University, Japan. She holds a PhD in Education from the University of Durham, UK. Seeking ways of overcoming prejudice, her research activities focus on intergroup relations, self and identity in foreign language education and the development of intercultural communicative competence. Etsuko Yamada is a Lecturer at Kanda University of International Studies in Japan, where she teaches Japanese as a foreign language (JFL). Previously, she taught JFL in Germany and the UK. She holds a PhD in Education from the University of Durham, UK. Her research interests lie mainly in the areas of criticality and critical thinking within language education.


Title: Developing Criticality in Practice Through Foreign Language Education