Forming Critical Reading Skills in a Low-Intermediate Class of English

Nataliia Hromova, Maryna Kryvych, Nataliia Chernihivska, Tetiana Vinnytska, Ihor Bloshchynskyi


Critical reading skills constitute an important part of an independent critical reader and are often formed in advanced-level students. It is argued that low-level learners of English also need to get acquainted with the basics of critical reading in the first years of their tertiary education. The aim of this study is to define a range of critical reading elements the low intermediate EFL students can demonstrate within a three-month period of critical reading instruction. The experiment on establishing the students’ attitude to critical reading and defining their critical reading abilities while commenting on texts was conducted. The findings of the questionnaire showed the participants’ attitude to critical reading as the way to question and disagree with the author’s opinion rather than to analyze information. The participants considered themselves quite competent in critical reading but did not see the practical use of applying these skills. A three-month critical reading intervention was introduced and followed by writing final commentaries upon the given text. The survey after the intervention found that the students of the experimental group showed the ability to justify their judgments by supporting claims while commenting upon the given texts. They could also express disagreement with the opinion in the text more often than before the intervention. In the control group, the prevailing agreements with the author’s viewpoint in the commentaries rarely followed by justifications showed the students’ unwillingness to create new ideas and proved their passive roles in dealing with information. Thus, according to the experiment results, the range of critical reading strategies the low intermediate class demonstrated included expressing judgments and supporting claims, finding different points of view on the problem in the text, and expressing disagreement with the given opinion. The amount of irrelevant information the participants mentioned in their commentaries proved the necessity for further interventions in order to engender their critical literacy.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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