Critical Thinking for Language Teaching and Learning

Luis Bernardo Quesada, Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures

Critical Thinking for Language Teaching and Learning

The project I am currently developing at the New Media Lab is related to my present teaching experience at Hunter College CUNY, but was originated during the winter of 2015. That year, I enrolled the online course Critical Thinking in the Language Learning Classroom, at the American English Institute (University of Oregon), sponsored by the US Embassy in Mexico City. This course was designed to deepen English and other languages instructor’s understanding of critical thinking principles and practices in the EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classroom. This goal was achieved through online readings, web-based materials to be used in EFL classrooms, and, more importantly, through an intense and stimulant online, guided interaction within a group of 17 colleagues from around the globe, constantly sharing and discussing ideas.

Today, after 3 years of teaching Spanish at Hunter College-CUNY, I have found myself applying these and other pedagogical principles that have been useful in my everyday practice as an adjunct. This project aims to expand, consolidate, and discuss the contents and skills that are the result of this year-long experience, through the publication of blog entries, dessigned to share some theoretical and practical knowledge that has served in my teaching career in these last years. I believe this content could be of interest for both language instructors, and language students embarked in learning processes.

At first, I will post 4-6 blog entries on the theoretical content of the critical thinking perspective that I explored in that UO online course. Taking these as a foundation, the subsequent entries will verse on more grounded-common experiences, that is, everyday classroom situations linked with the theoretical content developed in the core/theoretical entries. Since I embrace my project at the NML as a learning process for myself too, I do not envision this path as a fixed program, but as a flexible notebook to be adapted bi-weekly. I believe this method could eventually serve as a good multimedia repository, and as the basis for exploring and integrating new material for analysis and, if possible, forum discussion.

The final goal of this project is to offer a condensed and easy to access place for language-based pedagogy, to be used by both instructors and studens, that could also model and take advantage from other Graduate Center pedagogical projects and other adjuncts experiences.