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Developing Criticality in Practice Through Foreign Language Education


Stephanie Houghton and Etsuko Yamada

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.


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List of Tables and Figures ix Preface xi Introduction 1 Part I Spontaneous Criticality Development and its Intensification Through Targeted Instruction 29 Chapter 1 From Inquiry to Research 31 1.1 Tertiary-level foreign language education: questioning the aims 31 1.2 Why action research? 35 Chapter 2 Criticality Development: A Two-Stage Empirical Study 41 2.1 Overview of the study 41 2.2 What kind of criticality development is possible at beginners’ level? 44 2.3 How can criticality be developed in practical ways? 51 Chapter 3 Criticality Development at Beginners’ Level: From Practice to Theory 55 3.1 The core components of criticality 55 3.2 Pedagogical implications of the empirical study 62 3.3 Barnett’s concept of criticality and the University of Southampton Criticality Project 64 3.4 Summary 67 vi Part II Criticality Development Through Targeted Instruction 69 Chapter 4 Basic Understandings of the Nature of Criticality in Foreign Language Education 71 4.1 Overview of the study 71 4.2 The natural emergence of criticality 83 4.3 Ref lections upon the nature of criticality 94 Chapter 5 Critical Analysis of Identities 101 5.1 Analytically describing one’s own values 101 5.2 Analytically describing the values of another person 106 5.3 Ref lections upon the nature of criticality 112 Chapter 6 Relating Self and Other 115 6.1 Comparing and contrasting self and other 115 6.2 Critical ref lection and stereotype management 120 6.3 Ref lections upon the nature of criticality 123 Chapter 7 Critical Evaluation and Self-Development 125 7.1 Evaluating self and other 125 7.2 Multiple selves and the...

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