Friday, April 10, 2009

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Listening: Critical Thinking

At the TESOL convention in Denver this year, I went to a presentation on critical thinking where the presenters discussed a model called D.I.E. - Describe, Interpret, and Evaluate. Although I didn't apply is exactly the way they did, I've implemented a variation of this model in my Advanced Listening Class. First of all, we watched this video and they took notes.

Describing is easy. They just do a basic summary using their notes. Then, for the interpretation part, I had them consider different questions about this video:

1) Who: who is involved? What are their values? What are their motivations? Who is being aided? What is their backgrounds?

2) What: What were the projects done? What resources were required? What is the effect?

3) Where: Where does this take place? How might this affect the outcome? What do we know about this place?

4) Why: Again, what are the motivations behind this?

5) How: How successful will this be? What are some limitations? How might culture and political background affect the success of projects such as this?

Again, I'm trying to get them to think carefully of different perspectives of all parties involved. This has been very challenging for my students, but I think they're gradually developing these critical thinking skills.