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Volume 11 Number 4, Winter 2014, Pages 1-134   


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Critical Literacy in the EFL Classroom: Evolving Multiple Perspectives through Learning Tasks

    Jun-min Kuo


This paper explores an English learning activity designed from the perspective of critical literacy; the activity addressed the exploration of multiple perspectives through a picture book and different learning tasks. In particular, it integrated students' language learning with their personal experiences. The class consisted of 34 college freshmen, all non-English majors. Two research questions were formulated: 1) How did the students respond to an activity designed from a critical perspective? and 2) How did the students compare their learning in this activity to their prior experience? Data included classroom observations, students' artifacts and assignments, their reflection papers, and follow-up interviews with students. The present study found that this activity led students to assume the role of social agents. They developed a critical stance, investigated multiple perspectives, and re-examined their familiar world. In addition, adopting the role of language learners, students formed critical responses to the activity; three themes recurred with regard to classroom materials, topics, and tasks. To sum up, this research suggests that critical literacy merits more attention and implementation in Taiwan if we hope to help students cultivate a critical competence in addition to the traditional four language skills.

Keywords: critical literacy, multiple perspectives, picture books, learning tasks