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Developing Criticality in Practice Through Foreign Language Education

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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

Extract

List of Tables and Figures Table 1 Sample lesson plan used in the second stage of Yamada’s study 42 Table 2 Questions asked in the post-lesson questionnaire in Yamada’s study 45 Table 3 Managing values in foreign language education 74 Table 4 The Intercultural Dialogue model developed in Houghton’s study 78 Table 5 Week 1 lesson plan for all three courses used in Houghton’s study presented as learning objectives 85 Table 6 Anderson and Krathwohl’s (2001) taxonomy of learning objectives 117 Table 7 An illustrative example of a student comparing and contrasting the values of self and other in Houghton’s study 119 Table 8 An illustrative example of a student’s non-judgmental description of interviewee values in Houghton’s study 127 Table 9 An illustrative example of a student comparing and contrasting the values of self and other in Houghton’s study 129 Table 10 Illustrative examples of students’ critical evaluations of self and other in Houghton’s study 132 Table 11 Cognitive process, language skill and knowledge dimensions of criticality 166 Figure 1 Student theory-building model in Yamada’s empirical study 47

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