“I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious.” - Albert Einstein
We tend to think of critical thinking as an intellectual skill that appears in explicit, academic-type tasks. In fact, it’s part of a holistic approach to learning founded on being curious, objective and fair. It’s implicit in all we do and, in ELT, is applicable to all four skills, grammar and vocabulary, and to all levels and all ages. This approach encourages deeper engagement with content, deeper processing of language, and ultimately greater learner independence. In this presentation we’ll illustrate the benefits of a critical mindset in a wide variety of contexts, and look at examples of how critical thinking as a skill can be included in multiple lesson and task types, from young learners to adults.
Paul Dummett is a teacher and writer based in Oxford, UK, where he ran his own school teaching English to professionals from 1996 to 2006. He currently teaches refugee children in Palestine and Jordan with the Handsupproject. His main interests are the use of images and narrative in language teaching and how these can aid deeper learning and memory. Seeking out writing projects that explore these interests he has found a natural home at National Geographic Learning, co-authoring titles such as Life and Keynote and acting as a Course Consultant for Look, a seven-level primary series. He enjoys travel, exercise and live music/spoken word performance.