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Combining Picture Books with Critical Thinking in a High School EFL Classroom in Taiwan: A Case Study of a Municipal Senior High School in Taoyuan City
Shen, Yu Ju
Yeh, Chieh Yue
Shen, Yu Ju
|Issue Date:||2016-07-01 16:05:30 (UTC+8)|
本研究採用質性個案研究。研究對象為某高中二年級的四十四位學生。這些學生為研究者某一任教班級。他們透過兩本繪本進行為期八週的批判性思考課程。本課程的核心為四項能力：(1) 能把各類訊息加以比較、歸類、排序、(2) 能根據上下語境釐清不同訊息間的因果關係、(3) 能分辨客觀事實與主觀意見和(4) 能評估不同資訊，提出合理的判斷或建議。研究者透過課室錄影觀察、學習單、學習/教學日誌和焦點團體訪談等蒐集資料。
This study aims to examine how the teacher and students respond to cultivating critical thinking skills through picture books and to the six strategies suggested by Law (2012). Besides, it also explores what problems occur in the teaching/learning process and how to adjust the lessons to solve the problems.
This study adopted a qualitative case study design. The participants were forty-four eleventh graders in one class taught by the teacher researcher. They learned critical thinking through two picture books in an eight-week study. The foci of the teaching were the four critical thinking skills, namely, (1) being able to compare, classify and sequence various information, (2) being able to identify the causal relationship between information based on the context, (3) being able to distinguish facts from opinions and then one advanced ability, and (4) being able to assess different pieces of information and propose reasonable judgments or suggestions. The students’ and the teacher researcher’s responses were collected from video-taped classroom observations, worksheets, learning/teaching logs, and focus group interviews.
The important findings are listed as follows. First, picture books were helpful in the enhancement of critical thinking skills, the improvement of English skills and a high level of learning motivation. Second, the nature of illustrations in picture books resulted in some comprehension problems, which could be solved through a multi-sensory approach and teachers’ purposeful guidance. Third, the six strategies recommended by Law (2012) assisted the students a lot in promoting critical thinking skills. It is noted that when implementing these six strategies, the teacher were advised to give sufficient wait time for students, join students’ discussion, and select picture books with real-life themes and suitable difficulty levels. Fourth, interactive read-alouds and questioning the author were also proved to be useful strategies for high school students to develop their critical thinking through picture books.
This study suggests that following the 2010 New Guidelines of English Curriculum in Taiwan, teachers can integrate critical thinking skills into picture book reading and create a good learning environment for students to become productive citizens. Pedagogical implications and suggestions for future studies were presented as well.
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