Critical thinking and reading comprehension in a course of English as a foreign language




critical thinking, reading comprehension, teaching-learning of English as a foreign language, Ennis-Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test.


There is great interest in designing English-as-a-foreign-language learning environments to foster critical thinking. In order to do so, understanding the nature of the relationships between the elements involved is necessary. In this sense, the present study aims at determining the relationship between critical thinking abilities (CTA) and reading comprehension (RC) of scientific technical texts in students of English as a foreign language at Universidad Simón Bolívar, Venezuela. This is a transverse exploratory after-the-fact field research framed in a quantitative approach using correlations. The Ennis-Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test was used to measure critical thinking abilities and the De-partmental Reading Comprehension Achievement Test was used to measure linguistic competence. Results show that the relationship between CTA andRC is low, positive and significant. Also, both CTA as well as RC scores were very low. Findings suggest that reading is a useful tool to foster CTA; nonetheless, the course must be tailored in order to improve its effectiveness. Pedagogical implications are discussed. Also, future research suggestions are offered.

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Author Biographies

Nelly Yiveline Fernández de Morgado, Universidad Simón Bolívar

Associate Professor in the Language Department


Carlos Alberto Mayora Pernía, Universidad del Valle

Applied Linguistics and English Professor in the Sciences Language School.

Rubena St.Louis, Universidad Simón Bolívar

Associate Professor in the Language Department


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How to Cite

Fernández de Morgado, N. Y., Mayora Pernía, C. A., & St.Louis, R. (2015). Critical thinking and reading comprehension in a course of English as a foreign language. Íkala, Revista De Lenguaje Y Cultura, 21(1), 15–29.



Empirical Studies