QRCV Approach to Enhancing Critical Thinking Skills in ESP Learning


Chairman Kim Jong Il said:

"In order to give a qualitative and high-level education, universities should steadily improve their methods of teaching as well as the content of education. All educational institutions should get rid of the old teaching method such as cramming that urges students to memorize or dictate to a class, and apply in full the superior teaching method of our own style."

All the students of faculty of finance in Kim Il Sung University take an ESP course (financial English course) after the General English (EGP) course. It is usually difficult for students to acquire financial knowledge in English even though they have already passed basic English course in non-English speaking environment.

ESP learning requires two skills; linguistic skill for English on one hand and critical thinking skills (CT) for specific subject on the other hand. Financial English, as one branch of ESP, needs CT skills for learners to acquire domain-specific background knowledge.

We assume that learners can get successful achievement in their ESP course and further professional careers when they are equipped with economic way of thinking that can be developed by CT skills in the field of finance in English. We see Questioning, Reasoning, and Considering the issue from the multiple perspectives as main elements for enhancing CT skills and combine these three elements with Visualization which has been recognized as effective teaching tool to produce QRCV approach for effective ESP learning.

We study how effectively this QRCV approach can enhance CT skills in ESP learning and improve the course achievements.

We compare control group (n=36) and experimental group (n=36) by pretest and posttest with the instrument of CTSTFE (Critical Thinking Skills Test for Financial English). Both groups are similar in their pretest and bring improvements in their posttest. But experimental group outperform control group in the posttest especially in the skill of fairness (considering the issue from the multiple perspectives).

And we rank the 72 participants by scores and carry out the debate-type experiment between 12 subgroups of 6 participants each. One control subgroup and one experimental subgroup in a pair are to agree or disagree the given statement respectively, and invited examiners score their debate by analyzing their persuasive and argumentative abilities in accordance with such criteria as questioning quality, reasoning power, fairness, relevance, clarity and collaboration. It's also found that QRCV approach is effective in enhancing their CT skills particularly in multiple-side consideration.

All these results indicate the QRCV approach can enhance learners' course achievement by enhancing their CT skills and overcoming inherent challenges in this course.

The mentioned above is published in "VNU Journal of Foreign Studies" (Vol.37, No.4, 2021), entitled "QRCV approach to Enhancing Critical Thinking Skills in ESP learning" (