The Application of Critical Thinking to Short Story Analysis: An Experiment on a New Teaching Process




critical thinking, literary analysis, process, approach


Attempts have been made to integrate critical thinking into many disciplines to improve thinking quality and enhance learning outcomes. Although many studies have indicated positive effects when applying critical thinking to teaching literary works in varied ways, further research is needed to develop practical approaches that solve the problems of students’ passive learning and low interest in literature courses. The author of the study developed a process named R.A.I.S.E-U.P, transforming critical thinking qualities into a practical procedure for teaching short stories at the tertiary level. The aim of the current study is to measure the effects of the experiment on this teaching process conducted in a literature class of 35 English major students at Nong Lam University. Qualitative data were collected through interviews for content analysis. The results showed positive feedback on the experiment both in students’ engagement in class activities and improvement of critical thinking quality. The findings consolidate the teaching approach to apply critical thinking to literary analysis.

Author Biography

Le Minh Ha, Faculty of Foreign Languages – Technical Education, Nong Lam University of HCMC, Vietnam

Le Minh Ha is a lecturer of linguistics and literature at the Faculty of Foreign Languages – Technical Education, Nong Lam University of Ho Chi Minh University. His interests are students’ workload, learning autonomy, critical thinking, and student-centered approach.



Al-Mahrooqi, R., & Roscoe, A. A. (Eds.). (2012). Literature teaching in the EFL context: New perspectives. Sultan Qaboos University Academic Publication Board.

Beyer, B. K. (1995). Critical Thinking. Fastback 385. Phi Delta Kappa, 408 N. Union, PO Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789.

Chapple, L., & Curtis, A. (2000). Content-based instruction in Hong Kong: Student responses to film. System, 28, 419-433.

Cojocariu, V. M., & Butnaru, C. E. (2014). Asking questions–Critical thinking tools. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 128, 22-28.

Bui,T. K.A, & Nguyen. T. Y.P. (2018). Teaching with Developing Learners’ Competencies Orientation and Problems in Managing the Process of Teaching Literature in Vietnam. American Journal of Educational Research, 6(7), 915-921. Retrieved from

Dahlin, E. (2021). Email interviews: A guide to research design and implementation. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 20.

Ennis, R. H. (1962). A concept of critical thinking: a proposed basis for research in the teaching and evaluation of critical thinking ability. Harvard Educational Review 32:81-111.

Esplugas, C., & Landwehr, M. (1996). The use of critical thinking skills in literary analysis. Foreign Language Annals, 29(3), 449-461.

Gulsah Kuleki, Esin Kumlu. (2015). Developing critical thinking skills in English language teaching classes through novels. International Journal of Language Academy. Volume 3/2:76-90. Retrieved from

Hasan, A. M., & Hasan, Z. F. (2019). Students’ perception towards literature integration in the English language departments at Duhok and Zakho Universities. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 10(4), 130-152. Retrieved from

Hiner, A. (2013 a). Critical thinking in the literature classroom, Part I: Making critical thinking visible. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines, 28(1), 26-35.

Hiner, A. (2013 b). Critical thinking in the literature classroom, part II: Dickens’s Great Expectations and the emergent critical thinker. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines, 28(2), 53-59.

Ho, T. M. L., & To, M. T. (2022). Delegating Critical Thinking Skills in Learners through Effective Questioning Technique in the Class. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 2(3), 13-31.

Khatib, M., & Mehrgan, K. (2012). Achieving critical thinking skills through reading short stories. Advances in digital multimedia, 1(3), 166-172.

Nguyen, T. K. Thu (2022) A study of Vietnamese teachers’ perceptions and practice in teaching English literature in the context of English as a lingua franca. Educational Sciences, 2022, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp. 3-13.

Nguyen, H. T. N. (2019). Experiencing the integration of critical thinking in teaching literary works. Tra Vinh University Journal Of Science; ISSN: 2815-6072; E-ISSN: 2815-6099, 9(2), 165-178.

Nosich, G. (2012). Learning to think things through: A guide to critical thinking across the disciplines (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Paul, R. and Elder, L. (2006). Critical thinking: Tools for taking charge of your learning and your life (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Paul, R and Elder, L.(2008). The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, Foundation for Critical Thinking Press, 2008. Retrieved from

Phạm Phương Hoài. 2018. Phát Triển tư duy phản biện trong dạy học văn qua hình thức thảo luận Socratic. Giáo dục Thời Đại. Retrieved from

Phạm, T. T. H. (2019). Một số biện pháp phát triển năng lực văn học cho học sinh phổ thông đáp ứng yêu cầu của chương trình giáo dục phổ thông môn Ngữ văn (2018). Retrived from

Phạm, T. T. H. (2019).Một số biện pháp phát triển năng lực văn học cho học sinh phổ thông đáp ứng yêu cầu của chương trình giáo dục phổ thông môn Ngữ văn (2018). Proceedings of 1st international conference on innovation of teacher education: Twenty years of development:a model for inter-institutional teacher training. Retrieved from

Phillips, C. R., Chesnut, R. J., & Rospond, R. M. (2004). The California critical thinking instruments for benchmarking, program assessment, and directing curricular change. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 68(4), 1–8.

Guleker, R. (2015). Instructional strategies to foster critical thinking: Self-reported practices of the faculty in Albania. International Journal of Teaching and Education, III, 4, 6-14.

Scriven, M., & Paul, R. (1987). A statement presented at the 8th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Education Reform, Summer 1987. Retrieved on 25/05/202,1 from

Stapleton, P. (2002). Critical thinking in Japanese L2 writing: Rethinking tired constructs. ELT Journal, 56(3), 250-257. doi: 10.1093/elt/56.3.250

Tran, T. B. T., & Vuong, T. K. (2023). Factors Affecting Learner Autonomy in Tertiary Level English Learning: A Study at Van Lang University. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 3(1), 1-18.

Tran, T. D. (2022). Teaching and Learning Literature in the English language curriculum in Vietnamese university education: problems and solutions. Psychology, 12(5), 253-262.




How to Cite

Le, M. H. (2023). The Application of Critical Thinking to Short Story Analysis: An Experiment on a New Teaching Process. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 3(2), 60–75.