To what extent is critical thinking affected by language demands in a level seven technical degree course?
Marsden, Nicholas; Singh, Niranjan; Clarke, David
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Citation:Marsden, N., Singh, N. & Clarke, D. (2016, April). To what extent is critical thinking affected by language demands in a level seven technical degree programme? Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA) (Ed.), 19th Annual Conference of Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (pp.75-77).
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/3680
Critical thinking can be said to be among the louder ‘buzz phrases’ in education in the 21st century. Both critical thinking and communication are key employability skills. Whilst there is a body of research on critical thinking, and its role in pedagogy, there seems to be a dearth of research linking second language ability and critical thinking. This area probably needs further examination given that it relates to subject specific discourse. Moreover the debate about domain-specific and generalist critical thinking skills is arguably impacted by language in ways that could disadvantage non-native English speakers in their assessed work. This research, carried out with Automotive students in New Zealand, suggests the language support currently given on a Bachelor level course in Automotive may not be adequate, and might need to be made available in different ways because perceptions of language ability may impact on success. The findings from this project suggest that automotive students might in fact prefer more language support. This information would be useful for course designers and facilitators at institutions elsewhere, particularly where courses might attract large numbers of non-native speakers either as international or domestic students. In either case, their perceived needs and expectations on the level of language support required to succeed are a focal point of this project.