Critical Thinking in the EFL Workshop on War: A Case Study
Keywords:EFL teaching, war, memory, critical thinking, workshop
This article presents a small case-study of an EFL workshop class on war, organized following the basic principles of critical thinking and content-based teaching. The development of critical thinking skills is one of the priorities of higher education, especially when discussing a sensitive issue, so the workshop was organized around the topics of war and memory. The students were given individual research assignments to prepare in advance, which they presented in the workshop. The teacher was only a moderator as the students were responsible for their presentations and discussion. The outcomes of this process are presented in the article, focusing on the students’ delivery of their assignments. Based on the teacher’s observations and students’ responses to the workshop, it can be concluded that it was possible to combine some of the fundamentals of critical thinking with those of content-based teaching for this class. The article discusses how the students benefited from the class in terms of acquired knowledge, linguistic skills and motivation. It also outlines the challenges of organizing the workshop and dealing with the sensitive topic of war. The article proposes practices which could be used to improve the observed positive aspects and to remedy the negative ones.