The Effect of WeChat-assisted Problem-based Learning on the Critical Thinking Disposition of EFL Learners

Xiao Wei Ding


Literature suggests the potential of problem-based learning (PBL) in critical thinking (CT) development, but empirical research on the effect of PBL on CT in foreign language pedagogy is limited. This study aims at a better understanding of the relationship between PBL and CT disposition of learners of English as a foreign language (EFL learners). A mixed research design was adopted in both an authentic in-class context and a WeChat-assisted after-class context, with an Adapted California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI) as measurement tool of quantitative data, and with classroom observation notes and students’ written comments on PBL experiences as qualitative data to supplement the quantitative analysis. The research findings confirmed that the PBL practice significantly improved EFL students’ CT disposition in general, in Independent Inquiry step, and regarding all CT subscales. The study also revealed that the PBL practice eliminated significant gender difference in Group Negotiation, although there seemed a significant gender difference in Hypothesis Proposition after the PBL practice. Implications and limitations of this study, as well as suggestions for future research are also discussed accordingly.


critical thinking; problem-based learning; WeChat-assisted; EFL learner; CCTDI

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Copyright (c) 2017 Xiao Wei Ding

International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET) – eISSN: 1863-0383
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