The Relationship between Language Proficiency and Critical Thinking Skills among Students in English Language Class
This research investigates the relationship between students’ English language ability and their critical thinking skills in English language class within the Thai context. The study involves 103 English major students and four English lecturers from the faculty of Education and Humanity and Social Sciences, Thaksin University. The data were obtained from the results of TOEIC Test, Cornell Critical Thinking Skill Test (CCTST), level X, questionnaires, students’ semi-structured interviews, and teacher ’individual interviews. The findings of the study revealed that students’ English language ability was at low level. 51% of the total students obtained scores of 350-495, which were at the Elementary Proficiency level, 29% were at Memorized Proficiency level. 19% were at 1+ Elementary Proficiency level. As for critical thinking skills, overall, the T- scores in critical thinking skills are mostly ‘average’ (T 45-54) or 33.98%. By considering individual aspects, the T-scores for Induction, Deduction and Credibility are also ‘average’ (T 45-54), accounting for 36.89%, 33.01%. and 47.57, respectively, excepted for the Assumption, where the T-scores are at a ‘fair’ level (T 35-44), representing 34.95%. However, this study demonstrated that critical thinking skill scores show significantly low correlation with language skills scores. A few students with higher ability in the English language were able to use their language advantage to answer the CCTTX. Therefore, more language and thinking skill trainings are necessary and more resources would be needed to find suitable methods in developing language ability and critical thinking skills of the students in the language classroom.
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