Improving EFL Students’ Critical Thinking Skills through Organization Development Intervention Strategies at Zhejiang Yuexiu University in China
Keywords:critical thinking, collaborative learning, team building, organization development intervention, action research
Critical thinking (CT) has become a key teaching goal in higher education, many language instructors consider it very significant to integrate CT into instruction of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) courses. A quasi-experimental design was utilized in this study to determine the effectiveness of Organization Development Intervention(ODI) in developing second-year EFL students’ CT skills in a private university in China. 71 participants were divided into an experimental group and control group. The experimental group (n=36) received collaborative learning plus team-building interventions, while the control group (n=35) received regular English instruction with exercises that did not build CT. After the semester-long interventions, mixed results demonstrated that the experimental group got significantly higher CT performance and collaboration among team members than the control group. The findings indicate that collaborative learning is beneficial to developing students’ CT skills, but instructors should use some techniques to foster team members’ collaboration skills. This study recommends that instructors bring ODI strategies such as team building and conflict management to support collaborative learning in the education realm. Lastly, EFL instructors must add CT elements to teaching curriculum activities that encourage student teams to practice critical thinking.
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