While the importance of critical thinking (CT) has been emphasized in English language education, scant attention has been paid to language teachers’ perceptions and practice in CT teaching. In particular, we know little about how pre-service language teachers learn to teach CT in current second language teacher education programs. Drawing on findings from an exploratory study in China, this paper presents and discusses the personal and contextual challenges faced by student teachers in learning to teach CT. For instance, the participants revealed a lack of preparation and support in teacher education courses and teaching practicums, which resulted in their limited understanding of CT and its teaching. In order to address the challenges, the paper proposes a tripartite framework with a threefold perspective on cultivating student teachers’ CT through language teacher education, transforming their beliefs about CT in language education, as well as fostering their professional competence to teach CT. The three aspects need to be systematically and coherently integrated into pre-service language teacher education practice in order to prepare competent teachers with both a critical mind and CT oriented pedagogies. Copyright © 2018 The Asian Conference on Education.
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2018|