Designing Worksheets for Critical Language Practice

Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines

This paper examines principles of Critical Language Awareness in relation to critical reading practices.  It argues that language should be taught not only as form and function but also as a system of communication that belies particular biases, whether consciously or unconsciously expressed.  It further argues that students need to be explicitly taught to recognize the discourse of power relations embedded in a text, and that even second language learners with limited proficiency skills should not be exempt from exposure to critical reading practices.

One of the most ubiquitous tools associated with task-based teaching is the use of worksheets to facilitate students’ manipulation of texts.  However, many worksheets tend to be testing devices that encourage “passive” reading instead of teaching materials that facilitate active reading.  This paper will show how CLA principles can be integrated into the design of more effective teaching worksheets in order to promote critical understanding.

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