Document Type : Research Paper


Shiraz University


Since an effective technique to assess the level of thinking ability is to identify the types of questions one generates, the present research by employing a hybrid question framework, intended to investigate the status of thinking ability among Iranian EFL students in two majors of TEFL and English Literature in M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. To this end, through convenience sampling, a group of 51 students was asked to read two simple short texts and make any type of question(s) that would spring to their minds in essay-type format. Then, using purposeful sampling, 15 participants out of 51 were selected for a semi-structured interview. The findings revealed that nearly half of the participants did not generate thought-provoking questions, which might imply that beyond-routine thinking is not well attended to in the related context. Moreover, as the English Literature students were more capable of producing thought-provoking questions than the TEFL students, it can be inferred that an academic major can be considered an essential factor impacting one’s way of thinking. Furthermore, since the students of English Literature/TEFL in Ph.D. degree outperformed those in M.A. degree, it can be concluded that the academic degree can be accounted as an aiding factor influencing the level of thinking ability as well. Furthermore, in searching for the reasons affecting (non-) production of thought-provoking questions, several factors were discovered and categorized into impeding and promoting ones.


The authors declare that there were no conflicts of interest and received no funding for this study.

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