Embedding critical thinking instruction into English for Academic Purposes courses

Danjun Ying, Jay Joseph Bidal, Adam Barker, Pui Ling Lee

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


Enhancing students’ ability to apply critical thinking to information and communication is a commonly stated objective of university strategic plans worldwide. However, a major hurdle in incorporating critical thinking instruction (CTI) into education is finding space within already crowded degree programmes and curricula to address its diverse dimensions. This is also true when administrators, curriculum developers or instructors endeavour to integrate CTI into English for Academic Purposes (EAP) classes in English-medium institutions. This chapter presents a possible best practice of embedding CTI – in both concepts and language – into courses through the application of Visible Thinking routines and key critical questions trialled in a research project at a Hong Kong university. A pre- and a post-test with 29 students were conducted to explore their critical thinking ability, expression and understanding before and after a semester of embedded instruction within EAP courses. Group interviews were also held after the post-test to delve deeper into participating students’ experiences. The research results are encouraging and point to a possible means of incorporating CTI into courses, whether at the university or the school level. The chapter offers insights into a wide range of educational practitioners on how to meld CTI with existing course materials and activities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBest Practices in English Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Subtitle of host publicationLessons from Hong Kong for Global Practice
EditorsLillian Wong
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781003241188
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2023


  • critical thinking, english for academic purposes


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