Improving Students’ Critical Thinking Through Analyzing and Responding to Text

Besral Besral, Irwan Irwan


The subject of this study was the seventh semester students registering in 2013-2014 Academic Year in the Department of English Education at Tarbiyah and Teacher Training Faculty, State Institute for Islamic Studies ‘Imam Bonjol’ Padang, who were 14 in number.  They were identified at risk level and had very low motivation and achievement although they had been struggling for it for five semesters.  Previous observations and interviews with this ‘margin’ group were reported to point that some misleadings in academic development and communication in target language occurred and therefore, they must be reoriented particularly in the field of critical thinking.  There were two major questions to be answered throughout this study, namely (1) To what directions do the students develop their analytical thinking provided that they are exposed to non-fiction works?; (2) To what extent do students’ oral competences get developed if they are assigned to deal with non-fiction works? The partcipants’ understanding of the text were tested prior to the treatments using Double Entry Journal and classroom discussion. Through the connection with literature, students become inspired to offer their opinions and tell their own stories; as a result, they gain confidence as readers, writers, and independent learners. With clear guidelines and objectives, extensive reading offers students the opportunity not only to recognize how they learn, but also to actively participate in that learning.

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