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ERIC Number: EJ914890
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-1559-663X
From Passive Learners to Critical Thinkers: Preparing EFL Students for University Success
Shaila, Mahmuda Yasmin; Trudell, Beth
English Teaching Forum, v48 n3 p2-9 2010
Many English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students who seek admittance to a university where English is the medium of instruction do not have sufficient language skills to understand lectures, comprehend textbooks, participate in class discussions, or generate satisfactory written work. Oftentimes, they have only experienced teacher-centered instruction, where they were passive learners or mere memorizers of rules. Critical thinking was not a part of the curriculum, and they did not have the opportunity to develop meta-cognitive strategies to help them organize, plan, and make decisions about their learning. For these reasons, some universities offer foundation or pre-university programs to help students improve their language skills; however, students need support in more than just language skills because in the university environment they are expected to think, to reason, to communicate, and to continue their learning outside the classroom. After reviewing its own pre-university program, the Centre for Languages (CfL) at BRAC University realized that the program needed a stronger focus on the academic challenges of university study. In response, the centre identified and implemented methods to strengthen the pre-university program to better prepare students for higher education. This article describes how a group of teachers thoroughly revised the pre-university curriculum to create lessons and activities that now equip students with the critical thinking ability and English language skills required for regular university classes.
US Department of State. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs, SA-5, 2200 C Street NW 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20037. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Bangladesh