New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Fostering Higher-Order Thinking Skills in CLIL: A Conversation Analytical Perspective

Sabria Salama Jawhar, King Saud bin Abdul Aziz University for Health Sciences, (Saudi Arabia)


Conversation analysis (CA) views learning as a social action that emerges from participation in interaction rather than as a cognitive individual phenomenon. However, learning, according to CA, is socially-displayed action that is achieved on a turn-by-turn bases. Accordingly, it can be investigated through a microscopic analysis of the sequential deployment of that social action in interaction. Based on this definition of learning, the paper explores the relationship between the type of questions that teachers ask and the students’ level of engagement in higher education CLIL classroom. The paper examines the type of questions teachers use in CLIL classroom and the resulting responses from the students’ side. It benefits from the revised version of Bloom's taxonomy introduced by Krathwohl (2002) to categories the teachers’ questions and the resulted responses.

I argue that students engage in the classroom interaction and consequently learn more if they were given the opportunity to do so by the teacher and were asked more challenging questions that help them tapping into higher- order thinking skills.

According to Bloom et al. (1956), though having access to knowledge is important, the application of this knowledge is even more important to the process of learning. Based on this assumption, the paper looks at evidence in the dataset, which indicates that the students can apply the knowledge, they acquired while they are engaged in talk in interaction if the right type of questions were asked.

Pedagogically, the paper highlights the integral role of questions that trigger “higher-order thinking skills” to the process of learning. It concludes with a list of recommendations for CLIL teachers in order to raise their awareness regarding their use of questions in the classroom.

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