About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6345-6351
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain


A. Gafoor, Y.N. Wong, S. Mohamed Amin, Y.L. Tan

St Hilda's Secondary School / Ministry of Education Singapore (SINGAPORE)
The focus of our research study is to examine if the teaching of thinking skills has a positive impact on students’ oracy skills.
Presently, all Secondary Two students in our school are taught thinking skills and tools as a subject on its own under the school’s thinking skills programme. Thinking tools such as Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) and cost benefit analysis are taught in the thinking programme. However, these students have demonstrated limited ability to transfer learning of thinking skills to their academic subjects. A team of English Language teachers in the school embarked on this project as they believe that there should be transference of skills so that there will be meaningful learning.

The team also believes that the development of oracy skills requires innovative pedagogical practices that develop metacognition.
Furthermore, the integration of Critical and Inventive Thinking such as sound reasoning and decision-making skills in the curriculum which in this case, as part of their language learning, is in line with developing students with 21st Century Competencies.
The team integrated a unit of oracy lessons with relevant thinking skills and tools that the students learnt in the thinking skills programme. These skills and tools were reinforced and made more explicit in the language lessons through the use of authentic samples of conversation which provided a platform for teachers to develop the students’ metacognitive skills, that is, students had to plan and structure their thoughts, monitor their learning process and assess their learning. This concomitantly aids their language development, specifically conversation skills. Students assess the learning of targeted language features using customised rubrics which facilitated students’ monitoring of learning. The frequent monitoring and assessing of learning together with teacher feedback are all part of formative assessment, resulting in an improvement in oracy skills.

The lessons emphasize a spiral progression of skills for both the acquisition of oracy and thinking skills. It also has features of an interactive classroom as students are immersed in scenario-based and role-playing activities which enable them to apply what they have been taught in their thinking programme.

The effectiveness of the unit was examined through the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data which included pre and post lesson assessment grades, end-of-year oral exam grades and personal reflections. There was a positive trend in the students’ performance from both pre and post lesson assessments, indicating that students have benefited from being aware of their metacognition and customised feedback (both peer and teacher). The latter formed part of formative assessment. It is evident through the study that activities which stimulate thinking at a variety of different levels can be used in an integrated way and with learners who do not have a high level of knowledge of English as much as those who are more advanced.

As a recommendation from the study, the team proposed that in the future, the oracy unit could leverage on the affordances of technology to enable ease of peer feedback and self monitoring via the platform of e-portfolio. Using a web-based e-Portfolio such as Edmodo will foster self-directed and collaborative learning among students as it will enable them to track their own progress at all times and have instant access to lesson materials and resources. They can easily upload their audio clips and reflections into their e-portfolio and receive feedback from their teachers and peers.
author = {Gafoor, A. and Wong, Y.N. and Mohamed Amin, S. and Tan, Y.L.},
series = {7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-2661-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {4-5 March, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {6345-6351}}
AU - A. Gafoor AU - Y.N. Wong AU - S. Mohamed Amin AU - Y.L. Tan
SN - 978-84-616-2661-8/2340-1079
PY - 2013
Y1 - 4-5 March, 2013
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2013 Proceedings
SP - 6345
EP - 6351
ER -
A. Gafoor, Y.N. Wong, S. Mohamed Amin, Y.L. Tan (2013) MAKING THINKING AUDIBLE AND VISIBLE THROUGH ORACY, INTED2013 Proceedings, pp. 6345-6351.