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Seminar: Critical thinking in Action Venue: British Arts Centre (BAC) - Suipacha 1333, C.A.B.A.

Date: Monday, 11 July Exponent: Lindsay Clandfield. He is a teacher, teacher trainer and international author. Lindsay Clandfield has addressed teachers and given workshops in more than 20 countries. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals relating to ELT and he has written a column on language teaching for the Guardian Weekly newspaper. He writes a popular blog for teachers, http://www.sixthings.net/. Report: The presentation of the seminar was related to the introduction of the term Global English. This term has been used increasingly during last years and refers to the fact of English being spoken not only for native speakers or as a second language but also for international communication between non-native speakers from many countries all around the world and from different cultures. One of the implications of this issue is the relevance of teachers awareness of students new needs. Nowadays, English learners must be exposed to different varieties of the language depending on their needs and they should also develop different skills to face this reality. In the second part of the seminar, Clandfield proposed a warm up activity in which we were given a list of 6 words and we had to eliminate once a time using our own criteria. By doing this, he introduced the terms lower and higher order thinking skills. He referred to lower order thinking as that which occurs when students receive or recite factual information or employ rules through repetitive routines. Students are given pre-specified knowledge and such knowledge is conveyed to as students through reading, work sheet, lecture or other direct instructional medium. The instructional process is to simply transmit knowledge or to practise procedural routines. while higher order thinking requires students to manipulate information and ideas in ways that transform their meaning and implications, this transformation occurs when students combine facts and ideas in order to synthesise, generalise, explain, hypothesise or arrive at some conclusion or interpretation. Manipulating information and ideas through these processes allow students to solve problems and discover new (for them) meanings and understandings. There is an element of uncertainty during this process because the teacher is in charge of creating the appropriate environment to help students to produce their own knowledge. The outcome is not predictable. Then Clandfield explained what critical thinking is. His explanation was based in three areas: Differentiation between fact and opinion Examination of assumptions Flexibility and open-mindedness

Critical thinking does not mean being critical all the time. It means being able to recognize and develop an argument, exploring different perspectives, asking questions about the world, ourselves and others, and constructing our own answers. Critical thinking moves students up from an understanding level to an analysing and evaluating one. Finally, the rest of the workshop was dedicated to the presentation of different activities which could be adapted to apply these concepts into the classrooms and how to put them into practice. The activities were extracted from a new text material set for adult learners called Global. Conclusion: I found this workshop very useful to understand at which level is used the term and how to apply it into the classroom. In fact here in Argentina, our curriculum takes for granted this globalization of English and proposes that teachers must act as guiders to let students develop a critical thinking. The attendants were shown examples of practical applications, topic selection, text exploitation, differences between facts and opinions, the importance of having a critical view of the language and of the use of images.

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