Going the Extra Miles in a Reading Lesson: Insights from a Thai EFL Classroom

Main Article Content

Sirawit Apairach


With the rise of the digital age and social media in the 21st century, our language learners as readers are constantly exposed to a surge of textual information daily. Inevitably, there has been a pressing need for language teachers, particularly in the EFL context, to consider higher-level comprehension and reading skills that help prepare their students for such an influx of information. This classroom-based study aimed to investigate students’ perception of 1) critical reading abilities and 2) critical literacy practice implemented in a reading lesson. The participants were 32 first-year students who studied an English foundation course at a public university in Thailand. The data were collected by means of a questionnaire and focus group interviews. Using descriptive statistics and descriptive narrative, findings revealed positive overall performance and active engagement in the lesson, while language difficulty and concerns over the abilities to read between the lines were reported. The focus group interviews reported significant engagement in the lesson. Critical reading skills and classroom discussion were found to be valuable. Critical literacy practice appeared to contribute to the participants’ positive take on learning about multiple perspectives in classroom discussion.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Apairach, S. (2023). Going the Extra Miles in a Reading Lesson: Insights from a Thai EFL Classroom. LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network, 16(1), 320–338. Retrieved from https://so04.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/LEARN/article/view/263444
Research Articles
Author Biography

Sirawit Apairach, Division of English for Social Sciences and Humanities, Chulalongkorn University Language Institute, Thailand

A lecturer of English at Chulalongkorn University Language Institute in Bangkok, Thailand. He is currently a PhD candidate in Applied Linguistics: ELT at the University of Southampton, UK. His research focuses on critical approaches to argumentation in English for Academic Purposes (EAP). His other research interests include critical applied linguistics, criticality development in language education, systemic functional linguistics, teaching reading and writing, and academic literacies.


Abednia, A., & Crookes, G. V. (2019). Critical literacy as a pedagogical goal

in English language teaching. In X. Gao (Ed.), Second handbook of

English language teaching, Springer International. (pp. 255-275)


Avila, J., & Moore, M. (2012). Critical literacy, digital literacies, and

common Core State Standards: A workable union? Theory Into

Practice, 51, 27-33.

Brown, C. W. (2022). Developing multiple perspectives with EFL learners

through facilitated dialogue about images. Critical Inquiry in Language

Studies, 1-23.


Brown, K. (1999). Developing critical literacy. National Centre for

English Language Teaching and Research.

Burns, A. (2009). Action research in second language teacher education.

In A. Burns, & J. Richards (Eds.), The Cambridge guide to second

language teacher education (pp. 289-297). Cambridge

University Press.

Chen, C. W. (2018). “Think before you type”: The effectiveness of

implementing an anti-cyberbullying project in an EFL classroom,

Pedagogies: An International Journal, 13(1), 1-18.


Comber, B., & Nixon, H. (2011). Critical reading comprehension in an era

of accountability. Australian Educational Researchers, 38(2), 167-179.

Goatly, A., & Hiradhar, P. (2016). Critical reading and writing in the digital age.


Hudson, T. (2007). Teaching second language reading. Oxford University Press.

Huh, S. (2016). Instructional model of critical literacy in an EFL context:

Balancing conventional and critical literacy. Critical Inquiry in

Language Studies, 13(3), 210–235.

https://doi. org/10.1080/15427587.2016.1154445

Janks, H. (2010). Literacy and power. Routledge.

Janks, H., Dixon, K., Ferreira, A., Granville, S., & Newfield, D. (2014).

Doing critical literacy: Texts and activities for students and teachers.


Kaur, S., & Sidhu, G. K. (2014). Evaluating the critical literacy practices of

tertiary students. Procedia Social and Behavioral Science, 123, 44-52.

Kemmis, S., & McTaggart, R. (Eds.). (1988). The action research planner (3rd

ed.). Deakin University Press.

Kern, R. (2000). Literacy and language teaching. Oxford University Press.

Ko, M. (2013). A case study of an EFL teacher’s critical literacy teaching in

a reading class in Taiwan. Language Teaching Research, 17(1), 91-108.

Ko. M., & Wang. T. F. (2013). EFL learners’ critical literacy practices: A

case study of four college students in Taiwan. Asia-Pacific Education

Researcher, 22(3), 221-229.

Kuo, J. (2009). Critical literacy and a picture-book-based dialogue activity

in Taiwan. Asia Pacific Education Review, 10, 483-494.

Lau, M. C. (2013). A study of critical literacy work with beginning English

language learners: An integrated approach. Critical Inquiry in

Language Studies, 10(1), 1-30.

Lew, S., Yang, A. H., Harklau, L. (2018). Qualitative Methodology. In A.

Phakiti, P. D. Costa, L. Plonsky, & S. Starfield (Eds.), The Palgrave

handbook of applied linguistics research methodology. Springer Nature Limited.



Luke, A. (2014). Critical literacy: Foundational notes. In J. Z. Pandya. & J.

Ávila. (Eds.), Moving critical literacies forward: A new look atpraxis

across contexts (pp. 19-31). Routledge.

Mackey, A., & Bryfonski, L. (2018). Mixed methodology. In A. Phakiti, P.

D. Costa, L. Plonsky, & S. Starfield (Eds.), The Palgrave handbook of

applied linguistics research methodology. Springer Nature Limited.

McLaughlin, M., & DeVoogd, G. (2004a). Critical literacy: Enhancing

students’ comprehension of text. Scholastic Inc.

McLaughlin, M., & DeVoogd, G. (2004b). Critical literacy as

comprehension: Expanding reader response. Journal of

Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 48(1), 52-62.

Ng, C., & Graham, S. (2017). Engaging readers in the twenty-first century:

What we know and need to know more. In C. Ng & B. Bartlett

(Eds.), Improving reading and reading engagement in the 21st

century (pp. 17-46). Springer Nature.

P21 Framework Definitions. (2015). Retrieved from



Pennycook, A. (2008). Critical applied linguistics and language education.

In S. May & N. H. Hornberger (Eds.), Encyclopedia of language and

education. (vol.1, pp. 169-181). Springer.

Pennycook, A. (2022). Critical applied linguistics in the 2020s. Critical

Inquiry in Language Studies, 19(1), 1-21.


Shin, H., & Crookes, G. (2005). Exploring the possibilities for EFL critical

pedagogy in Korea: A two-part case study. Critical Inquiry in

Language Studies: An International Journal, 2(2), 113-136.

Wallace, C. (2003). Critical reading in language education. Palgrave Macmillan.

Williams, O. A. (2022). Critical literacy in practice: How educators leverage

supports and overcome challenges to enact critical literacy pedagogy

in their classroom. Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice, 0(0),

-18. https://doi.org/10.1177/23813377221115190