School of Foreign Language Education Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China
Cultivating and measuring critical thinking (CT) skills are an essential part in higher education. General assessment of CT skills existed for long but specific assessment of each dimension of CT skills is rare. The present study investigates one essential dimension of CT skills–inference and modified existent inference evaluation patterns to form an inference performance framework. This modified framework is applied in the experiment aiming to investigate the connection between inference abilities of the Chinese college students and their quality of argument in their English essays. 55 participants were assigned to write argumentative essays following the classical argumentation model. By modifying the CT Inference Performance framework, the study applies it in evaluating students’ CT ability in argumentative writing, revealing several patterns of inadequacies in the inference dimension of the students’ essays, exposing the need to bring more attention to the teaching of probability and form in the argumentative writing. Moreover, the study also indicates a significant connection between CT inference ability and quality of argument. On the basis of the above findings, inference-concentration teaching approach to improve quality of argument is recommended as a general guide for future classroom teaching, taking into account not only argumentative essay structure, content, and language, but also inference dimension of CT.
Critical thinking, Second language writing, Inference assessment, Quality of argument
Tong Chu. Cultivating and Assessing Critical Thinkers through Second Language Writing. Frontiers in Educational Research (2020) Vol. 3 Issue 9: 39-43. https://doi.org/10.25236/FER.2020.030911.
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