Teachers' perceptions of teaching thinking skills in low-level English classes at Bilkent University School of English Language
The objective of this study was to investigate the attitudes of Bilkent University School of English Language (BUSEL) teachers towards teaching HOTS in low-level English classes. The study specifically investigated (a) what the teachers’ understanding of how HOTS should be implemented is, (b) what the teachers see as problems and benefits of bringing HOTS into their Elementary or Low-Intermediate classes, and (c) if the teachers at BUSEL implement and teach HOTS in low-level classes. A questionnaire was administered to twenty-two BUSEL teachers who taught Elementary or Pre-Intermediate level during the third course of the 2003-2004 academic year. After the analysis of the questionnaire, three teachers were selected and their lessons were filmed. Then, semi-structured interviews were conducted with the teachers whose lessons had been observed by the researcher. The data results revealed that teachers at BUSEL are familiar with thinking skills and a great majority of them believe that they can be taught. They also acknowledge the importance of practice and effective guidance in teaching these skills. However, teachers identified students’ level of English as the major problem they experience in the teaching of thinking skills. Teachers’ attitude towards students’ learning processes, time constraints, and the number of the objectives to be covered in a limited time were found to interact with students’ level of language to further hinder the teaching of thinking skills.