UO-based Critical Thinking Session 03

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2007-08 University of Oregon Session #3

Critical Thinking and Language Teaching

Leslie Opp-Beckman, Presenter
Siriporn “Sao” Payonngkhunjohn, Guest
November 29, 2007


This is the third lecture in a multi-part professional development series on Critical Thinking and Language Teaching for English as a Foreign Language educators in Thailand. University of Oregon (UO) is proud to be partnering with the US Embassy in Bangkok, the Royal Thai Distance Learning Foundation, colleagues at Chulalongkorn University, and at ThaiTESOL on this innovative and exciting project.

The focus for this session is on critical reading. We will use one or more Thai folktales as a shared basis for discussion and hands-on practice.


Leslie Opp-Beckman is on faculty at the University of Oregon in the Linguistics Department and the American English Institute. She develops e-learning curriculum and teaches courses on Computer-Assisted Language Learning.

Ajarn Siriporn “Sao” Payonngkhunjohn is a visiting educator from Thailand through AFS Intercultural Programs. She is currently living and working in Dallas, Oregon.

Discussion Questions

  1. In our own teaching practices, to what extent do we balance these two approaches to our curriculum and materials:
    “I must finish everything in the book before exams.”
    “I am free to critically evaluate materials and make changes that I feel will benefit my students.”Or, in other words, where are you on this continuum?
  2. What are some differences (examples) between reading for comprehension and reading critically?
  3. How are reading and critical thinking connected in your class?
  4. How are critical reading and writing connected in your class?

Online Resources

Readings, Thai Folktales

The following are examples of sites offering free folktales.

Readings, Academic

The following readings are suggested in support of this session.