Certified Workshop

 

Andy Curtis, Dr.

TESOL International Association

Dr. Andy Curtis served as the 50th President of the TESOL International Association, and in 2016, received one of the Association’s 50at-50 Awards, when he was voted one of the Fifty Most Influential Figures in the Field, over the last 50 years. Dr. Curtis has published more than 100 articles, book chapters and books, and has presented to around 25,000 teachers in 50 countries, in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as North, South and Central America. He is based in Ontario, Canada, from where he works as an independent consultant for language education organizations worldwide.

 

Language and Thought: Critical Thinking for Dummies (CWS2), Workshop

Whatever happened to Critical Thinking? In the field of language education, Critical Thinking (CT) appears to have been a passing fad or fashion, that came, promised great things, then left, having made little or no lasting impact. That was not just unfortunate, but potentially disastrous. Take, for example, the 30 million Britons, in the June 2016 ‘BrExit’ event, who appear to have been unable to distinguish between a referendum on staying in or leaving the European Union, and a vote on immigration. In the run-up to the referendum, many easily disprovable falsehoods were presented as 'facts', which were readily accepted by a seemingly gullible electorate, some of whom claimed to be “well-educated”. A similar ‘en mass-uncriticality event’ (Curtis, 2017) appears to have occurred with 60 millions Americans in the USA presidential elections, culminating in November 2016. What is the role of language in such events, and whither critical thinking?