Journal article Open Access

IELTS ACADEMIC READING ACHIEVEMENT: THE CONTRIBUTION OF INFERENCE-MAKING AND EVALUATION OF ARGUMENTS

Afsaneh Ghanizadeh; Azam Vahidian Pour; Akram Hosseini

The pivotal undertaking of education today is to endow individuals with the capacity to be able to think flexibly, reason rationally, and have open minds to be able to evaluate and interpret situations. In line with the studies demonstrating the positive relationship between higher-order thinking skills and academic achievement, this study aimed to particularly examine the impact of the two subcomponents of critical thinking, i.e., inference-making and evaluation of arguments on academic IELTS candidates' reading achievements. To achieve the purpose of the study, one hundred and seven IELTS candidates (from different institutes in Mashhad, a city in north of Iran) were asked to complete two tests of the Persian version of the “Watson-Glaser's Critical Thinking Appraisal” after being administered an IELTS reading comprehension test. The results showed that there is a positive relationship between IETLS reading score and EFL learners' inference-making and evaluation of argument. Subsequent data analyses demonstrated that among the variables, inference making is the more powerful predictor of IELTS reading achievement. In addition, the results revealed that the two mentioned variables can predict about 10 percent of IELTS reading achievement. This study has some implications for educators and administrators to take full advantage of these associations by establishing guiding principles for enhancing IELTS candidates' inference-making and evaluation of arguments.

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