Edited By George M. Blue
Part 2 Criticality and Evaluative Language 71
Part 2 Criticality and Evaluative Language Fiona Cotton Critical Thinking and Evaluative Language Use in Academic Writing: A Comparative Cross-Cultural Study Introduction Although critical thinking skills are a key item in the graduate attributes documentation from many Australian universities, feedback from aca- demics still indicates that there is a lack of critical voice in international student assignments. As we see the construction and development of the critical voice in international student writing as central to our work as EAP lecturers, how therefore do we help NNS students develop a more critical voice and respond to the content lecturers’ crit icisms? In order to find pedagogic solutions to this question, it is important to clarify what is understood by critical thinking, critical analysis and evaluation. However, study of multiple definitions from various sources reveals that, although characteristics may overlap, there are differences in emphasis in what is meant by critical thinking or eval uation in different disciplines. Discussion about multiple definitions of critical thinking has proved valuable as an introduction for international students to this important area, and carefully structured or scaffolded (Pallant 2000) activities to develop students’ critical thinking skills are also important in the development of what Richards (2000) refers to as higher order thinking. These activities may also be a valuable way to assist students to make the conceptual shift in culturally derived ways of thinking about academic study. They may also help students to understand the importance of critical evaluation and of the explicit expression of a...
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