Linguistics Study and Critical Thinking: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

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Nu Anh Vo
Stephen H. Moore


From a linguistic perspective it seems intuitive that a strong link would exist between the study of linguistics and critical thinking (CT). After all, linguistics is about making sense of language analysis, which contributes to the enhancement of CT while CT, in reciprocation, enables meaningful analysis. Yet this link has virtually never been clearly defined or made explicit either in studies on linguistics teaching and learning or in those on CT development. This paper explores the relationship between linguistics study and CT in the Vietnamese context from the perspectives of undergraduate English Linguistics students and their lecturers, with a view to improving both students’ linguistics study and their CT. Drawing on data collected in questionnaires and interviews at a public university in Vietnam, the findings of the study reveal a variety of aspects of linguistics tasks and classroom activities where the link is significant as well as a range of specific CT skills and dispositions that are related to linguistics teaching and learning. In general, the students and the lecturers showed a positive attitude towards the integration of CT into linguistics teaching and learning, but challenges and barriers to this integration were identified. The study suggests the use of problem-solving tasks and open-ended questions for fostering the reciprocal relationship between linguistics study and CT.

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How to Cite
Vo, N. A. ., & Moore, S. H. . (2024). Linguistics Study and Critical Thinking: Two Sides of the Same Coin?. LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network, 17(1), 369–392. Retrieved from
Research Articles
Author Biographies

Nu Anh Vo, Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, Australia; Faculty of English Linguistics and Literature, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University

A senior lecturer and Associate Dean at the Faculty of English Linguistics and Literature, University of Social Sciences and Humanities (Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City). She obtained her PhD in Applied Linguistics at Macquarie University, Australia. Her teaching and research interests focus on English Linguistics, language teaching and learning, discourse analysis, critical thinking, and international comparative education.

Stephen H. Moore, Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University

An Honorary Associate Professor in the Linguistics Department at Macquarie University, Australia. His teaching and research focus mainly on discourse and language for specific purposes.


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