Representation of Critical Thinking Skills in EFL Algerian Syllabus: The Case of “New Prospects”, Third Year Secondary School Textbook

  • Aoutaf GASMI University of Mascar (Algeria)
  • Mohamed DIB University of Mascar (Algeria)
Keywords: Critical thinking, Secondary school education, Textbook evaluation, Thinking skills


Few decades ago, the concept of critical thinking was featured in taxonomies which is a complex process that requires higher level of cognitive skills in the processing of information. This study responds to the idea of critical thinking, English Language Teaching (ELT) and Algerian students by investigating critical thinking in “New Prospects”, the Algerian English language textbook intended for third year secondary school students. The study poses two research questions: (1) To what extent does “New Prospects” help fostering Critical Thinking Skills (CTS) among second year secondary school students? (2) What are the English language teachers’ attitudes and perceptions towards the manifestation of critical thinking skills in “New Prospects”? To answer these questions, the study adopts a content analysis methodology focused on text-based questions and the interview as a tool for participating teachers. The interview is conducted mainly to investigate whether the tasks and questions within “New Prospects” make students think. The study took place in four secondary schools in Laghouat, Algeria. Participants of the study were secondary school teachers of English. This study shows that the Algerian English as a Foreign Language (EFL) textbook, “New Prospects”, contains more textually-explicit questions than questions that promote critical thinking. The present study makes some noteworthy contributions to the current literature


Metrics Loading ...


AbdelWahab, M. M. (2013). Developing an English language textbook evaluative checklist. IOSR Journal of Research andMethod in Education (ISOR-JRME),
Aguirre, A. (1997). Critical Thinking and Literature-Based Reading. Retrieved 6 January 2022 from
Allen, M. (2004). Smart Thinking: Skills for critical understanding and writing (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: Oxford University Press.
Amer, A. A. (2003). Teaching EFL/ESL literature. The Reading Matrix, 3(2).
Anderson, R. C., and Pearson, P. D. (1984). A schema-theoretic view of the basic processes in reading comprehension. In P. D. Pearson (Ed.),
Baghoussi, M. (2021) Critical Thinking in Algerian Secondary School EFL Classes: Expectations and Reality Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number3 Pp.97-110 DOI:
Beach, Richard W. & Marshall, James D. (1991) Teaching Literature in the Secondary School. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College.
Bessick, S. C. (2008). Improved critical thinking skills as a result of direct instruction and their relationship to academic achievement. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana.
Boss, J. A. (2017). Think: critical thinking and logic skills for everyday life (4th ed.). New York: Mc Graw-Hill Education.
Bowell, T., & Kemp, G. (2002). Critical thinking: A concise guide. London and New York: Routledge.
Brookfield, S.D. (2003). Critical thinking in adulthood. In D. Fasko (Ed.), Critical Thinking and Reasoning: Current Research, Theory, and Practice. USA: Hampton Press.
Browne, M. N., & Keeley, S. M. (2007). Asking the right questions: A guide to critical thinking (8th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Butter worth, J., & Thwaites, G. (2013). Thinking skills: Critical thinking and problem solving (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Carroli, P. (2008). Literature in Second Language Education: Enhancing the Role of Texts in Learning. London: Continuum.
Cunningsworth, A. (1984). Evaluating and selecting EFL teaching materials. London: Heinemann Educational Books.
Djouima L. (2021) Teachers’ Practices of Critical Thinking in The Algerian Secondary School EFL Classroom, Revue Des Sciences Humaines Volume 31, Numéro 4, Pages 631-640
Ellis, R. (1997). The empirical evaluation of language teaching materials. ELT Journal, 51(1), 36-42
Ennis, R. H. (1989). Critical thinking and subject specificity: Clarification and needed research. Educational Researcher, 18(3), 4–10.
Ennis, R.H. (1987). A taxonomy of critical thinking dispositions and abilities. In J. Baron and R. Sternberg (Eds), Teaching Thinking Skills: Theory and Practice, pp. 9-26. New York: W. H. Freeman.
Forehand, M. (2005). Bloom's taxonomy: Original and revised. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging Perspectives on Learning, Teaching, and Technology. Retrieved 17 May 2022 from
Halpern, D. F. (1998) Teaching critical thinking of transfer across domains. American Psychologist, 53(4), 449-55.
Halpern, D. F. (2003). Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Handbook of Reading Research, pp. 255-91. New York: Longman
Skierso, A. (1991). Textbook selection and evaluation. In M. Celce-Murcia (Ed.) Teaching English as a second or foreign language. Boston: Heinle &. Heinle.
How to Cite
GASMI, A., & DIB, M. (2023). Representation of Critical Thinking Skills in EFL Algerian Syllabus: The Case of “New Prospects”, Third Year Secondary School Textbook. Social Sciences Journal, 17(1), 616-627.