ESL Students’ Perceptions of the use of Higher Order Thinking Skills in English Language Writing

Malini Ganapathy, Sarjit Kaur

Abstract


The transformation of the education curriculum in the Malaysia Education Development Plan (PPPM) 2013-2025 focuses on the Higher Order Thinking (HOT) concept which aims to produce knowledgeable students who are critical and creative in their thinking and can compete at the international level. HOT skills encourage students to apply, analyse, evaluate and think creatively in and outside the classroom. The purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate the impact of using HOT skills in a secondary ESL writing classroom. A total of 120 Form Two ESL students from three intact classes participated in this study. The students experienced project and group-based work both independently and collaboratively in groups during their writing lessons. The findings from the focus group interviews revealed the following student perceptions: felt engaged in active learning, experienced learner autonomy, developed their writing, researching and personal skills. The implications of this study suggest that using HOT skills in ESL writing lessons facilitate students’ writing ability and interest and it is recommended that HOT skills be explicitly infused in the teaching and learning of writing activities in ESL classrooms. 


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