ERIC Number: ED355795
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
More Than a Required Skill in Today's Curriculum: Critical Thinking and Collaborative Learning in Foreign Languages.
Klein, Carol Ebersole
Mid-Atlantic Journal of Foreign Language Pedagogy, v1 p91-96 Spr 1993
Through the process of critical thinking and in a collaborative learning environment, foreign language instruction can be more than a required skill; it is an integral part of a liberal education. Critical thinking is part of the basic process of learning, not a higher order of thinking to be saved for advanced courses. Students thinking in foreign language and literature courses gain ownership of their learning as they dare to take risks and imagine beyond the confines of rote memory. Collaborative learning is an ideal setting for students to be able to share their discoveries and test their grasp of information among their peers. Overly ambitious textbooks, inexperienced instructors, strict disciplinary boundaries, prevocational curricula, and administrator's demands for accountability are some of the factors that contribute to foreign languages' low priority on college campuses. Our task is to devise ways to challenge students' old modes of thinking while simultaneously providing structures and support for the development of new ones. Even in elementary foreign language courses, students can be encouraged to think, e.g., to compare and contrast, give opinions, discover patterns, imagine, guess, evaluate given information to make and justify predictions, and reconstruct in their own words. In this way, students feel intellectually challenged and view the course as a worthwhile academic endeavor. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: For serial issue in which this paper appears, see FL 021 050.