Innovating with HOTS for the ESL Reading Class

  •  Soo Yoke    
  •  Nor Hasan    
  •  Rohani Jangga    
  •  Siti Nuur-Ila Mat Kamal    


The idea of integrating higher order thinking skills (HOTS) in language classrooms has been viewed negatively by language teachers. Students have been found to be passive and teachers have been found to lack creativity in innovating their lessons. The government’s effort of introducing thinking skills in the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB) 2015-2025 is still at its initial stage and the idea of how and why thinking skills should be introduced is yet to be addressed. As such, this quasi-experimental study aims at investigating how HOTS can be integrated in the ESL reading classroom and to what extent students perceive this idea as applicable for them to develop critical thinking skills. A quasi-experimental approach has been applied involving 30 students selected from a convenient non-random sampling method. The students were exposed to two treatments: (1) online reading response task (2) offline reading response task. In both treatments, they were required to discuss a given issue in groups and then to read an article on the issue before posting their views. A selected number of 10 students were then subjected to a set of structured interview session. A descriptive analysis was done based on the interview responses. The results showed that the students favoured the given tasks and believed that it was innovative and out-of-the-box, with recommendations that the tasks should be continued and recommended to other ESL reading classrooms.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.