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Critical Thinking Skills Can Help Your Career and Learning

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critical thinking skills habilidades de pensamiento crítico

How do you go about solving a problem? Do you analyze its every aspect and then decide what to do? Or do you toss a coin and leave it to fate? While this method sounds fun, we do not recommend it! Rather, let’s talk about critical thinking skills and how they can help you find solutions and take decisions, as well as making language learning more effective.

What Are Critical Thinking Skills?

Critical thinking refers to the ability to arrive at reliable conclusions based on reliable information. A critical thinker breaks down a problem, interprets it, and uses that interpretation to make an informed decision.

Additionally, critical thinking skills give you the ability to understand and deal with situations based on all available facts and information.

At work, these types of skills help you detect a problem or a conflict, process and organize relevant information, and develop an effective solution. You should highlight your critical thinking skills in your resume and mention them during job interviews. These soft skills help you solve problems and build strategies that can make you a better employee and foster your career.

In the language classroom, these skills make learning more efficient and interesting.

Developing Critical Thinking Skills

Contrary to popular perception, critical thinking skills are not innate, but learned and developed through training and practice. Follow these steps to develop your skills and apply them succesfully:

  • Avoid information overload by having a clear purpose.
  • Make sure you use credible and accurate sources.
  • Identify the arguments.
  • Analyze your sources and arguments.
  • Explain the relative strengths and weaknesses of the arguments presented by your sources.
  • Develop your own arguments by bringing together evidence, claims, and reasoning.

Critical Thinking Skills in Action

Critical thinking is about asking open-ended questions and having an inquisitive mind. Besides, it involves making logical connections between ideas.

You start by applying your observation skills to identify and understand a problem. Ask relevant questions to gather as much information as you can and analyze it objectively. Then, you draw conclusions about the information you collected and analyzed. Communication skills are essential to explain issues and possible solutions. The last step is implementing the solution you came up with using your problem-solving skills.

Critical thinking skills are valuable because they help you with decision-making, to connect ideas, and, more importantly, to find inconsistencies in your work through observation and deduction.

A Critical Thinker:

  • Tests well-reasoned conclusions against relevant standards.
  • Is openminded.
  • Communicates ideas effectively.
  • Raises vital questions.
  • Formulates ideas, questions, and problems clearly and precisely.
  • Uses abstract ideas to interpret information effectively.

How Project-Based Learning Helps You Acquire Critical Thinking Skills

At English Services, we use the project-based learning (PBL) methodology because, among other benefits, it fosters critical thinking competencies. Our courses are designed around a project that is relevant to our students and that poses a real-life problem to solve or a situation to address. Then, students carry out tasks that require deliberate thought, considering alternatives, weighing evidence, creating a plan for finding a solution to a problem, and summarizing the key points in a final presentation.

In turn, critical thinking makes language learning more interesting and efficient. Students apply their existing knowledge to a real-life situation and, in the process, acquire new, memorable knowledge.  PBL puts more emphasis on practice rather than on theory: students learn by doing.

We can help your team develop and hone critical thinking skills, as well as language skills, with our blended language courses, workshops, and webinars. Please, get in touch today to find out more about our language teaching services.