Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2022

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Linda Houts-Smith


In the U.S. education system, critical thinking skills have become essential for students in the 21st century, but they are still not fully discussed in the ESL field. This is especially true for adult learners at the beginner level. Beginner-level students lack the language to participate in critical thinking skills and that it hinders their development is a general assumption. However, critical thinking skills cannot be developed quickly in a short amount of time and students need to have opportunities to practice them often while developing language. This means that teachers of adult beginner ESL students must choose class activities carefully to make sure that students develop both language proficiency and critical thinking skills. In this project, the author first reviewed nine general ESL textbook series and six ESL activity resource books to see how critical thinking is introduced to students. Next, the author has suggested a total of 14 activities per characteristic of critical thinking skills that can be used in beginner adult ESL classrooms.



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