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Home Journal Index 2020-2

Integrating Critical Thinking in Online Language Tasks: Considerations for an Academic Writing Class

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Daron Benjamin Loo
National University of Singapore, Singapore


Abstract
The current Covid-19 pandemic has forced many language classes to shift online. The shift needs to be carried out carefully to avoid jeopardizing the quality of the lessons. This paper showcases online tools that are used to support an academic writing module taught at the National University of Singapore. These tools are Zoom, Microsoft Office 365, and LumiNUS, the university’s internal Learning Management System (LMS). These tools are selected because of their accessibility and familiarity. More importantly, they support critical thinking tasks in the academic writing module. These tasks are (1) identifying sentence functions in a paragraph; (2) identifying sentence functions in relation to verbs; and (3) answering a grammar quiz. The tasks are completed either synchronously or asynchronously. Lastly, this paper presents recommendations for ELT instructors and EAP students, as well as suggestions for the use of online tools and curriculum development.


Keywords
Grammar tasks, academic writing, critical thinking