NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1157835
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1927-2677
Use of Content Based Instruction and Socratic Discussion for ESL Undergraduate Biomedical Science Students to Develop Critical Thinking Skills
Burder, Ronan L.; Tangalaki, Kathy; Hryciw, Deanne H.
Journal of Curriculum and Teaching, v3 n1 p1-9 2014
Content based language instruction can assist English as a second language (ESL) students to achieve better learning and teaching outcomes, however, it is primarily used to understand content, and may not help to develop critical analysis skills. Here we describe a pilot study that used a "Socratic" small-group discussion in addition to content based instruction, to enhance critical thinking skills in ESL Biomedical Science students. Students were provided a detailed protocol for the analysis of a research journal manuscript and participated in a Socratic discussion. Students wrote evaluative pieces to summarize the manuscript's topics, both before and after the small-group discussion. Overall, a third of all students displayed an improved critical thinking score based on Bloom's taxonomy. However, only 20% of ESL students improved their critical thinking score, while 42% of non-ESL students improved. Despite this, students agreed that the Socratic discussion improved their understanding of science and enhanced their ability to review scientific literature. Importantly, ESL students believed that the discussion made them feel positive about their ability to read scientific literature. Thus, specific tools for enhancing critical thinking in the ESL student group should further be developed, with investigation of the retention of these skills warranted.
Sciedu Press. 1120 Finch Avenue West Suite 701-309, Toronto, ON., M3J 3H7, Canada. Tel: 416-479-0028; Fax: 416-642-8548; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A