Improving reading comprehension through the development of critical thinking of students at madrasah aliyah

Arif Zaenal Mustopa, Madrasah Aliyah Al-Ikhlash Cicalengka Bandung, Indonesia
Sugirin Sugirin, Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta, Indonesia


This research aims to develop the reading comprehension skills in English written texts of Grade XI students of Madrasah Aliyah Al-Ikhlash Cicalengka, Bandung through the development of critical thinking in teaching process. This research was collaborative classroom action research. The subjects were the 11th grade students of Madrasah Aliyah Al-Ikhlash Cicalengka, Bandung. The data were collected through pretest and posttest, observation, field notes, and interviews. The students were introduced with the concept of critical thinking starting with the concept of position, agreement, disagreement, and argument as well as the categorization of the opinion and fact in the text. Finally the students were asked to do some tasks and give their opinion related to the position of the writer and their background knowledge. The result showed that there was an improvement in teaching processes. In the first cycle, the students’ involvement in classroom activity was improved. There were about 70% of the students who actively involved in the process and it increased in the second cycle. In expressing opinion, the students could actively express their opinion related to the text being discussed both in written and orally.  The improvement also occurred in students’ reading comprehension skills score. The result of paired t-test showed that there was significant different in comparison of pretest and both posttests 1 and 2. The result showed that the significant value of 0.000 was smaller than the significant level of 0.05 or 5%. This means that the improvement was significant. The result proved that improving reading comprehension skills could be achieved by developing critical thinking in teaching reading process.


reading; reading comprehension; critical thinking

Full Text:

Fulltext PDF


Austin, Z., Gregory, P.A.M., & Chiu, S. (2008). Use of reflection and self-assessment to promote critical thinking among pharmacy students. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 2008: 72 (3) Article 48.

Balitbang Kemendikbud. (2011). Survey internasional PISA. Available at Accessed on October 2nd 2014.

Bouton, D.T. (2008). Thinking critically about critical thinking in the community college classroom: an examination of the beliefs of exemplary instructors. Ph.D. Thesis. North Carolina State University.

Brown, H.D., (2003). Language assessment principles and classroom practices. New York: Pearson Education.

Burns, A. (1999). Collaborative action research for English language teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Burns, A. (2010). Doing action research in English language teaching: a guide for practitioners. New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Chaffee, J. (2002). Critical thinking thoughtful writing a rhetoric with reading (2nd ed.). New York: Bridgeman Art Library.

Cottrell, S. (2005). Critical thinking skills: developing effective analysis and argument. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Crews-Anderson, T.A. (2007). Philosophy insights critical thinking. Penrith:

Elashhab, S.Al. (2008). EFL reading strategies of main idea comprehension and identification: awareness and use of Arabic speaking university students. Unpublished Dissertation, University of Ottawa, Ottawa.

Grabe, W. (2009). Reading in a second language: moving from theory to practice. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Hatch, E., & Farhady, H. (1982). Research design and statistics for applied linguistics. Massachusetts: Newbury House Publishers, Inc.

Hemming, H.E. (2000). Encouraging critical thinking: but what does that mean? McGill Journal of Education; Spring 2000; 35, 2; Proquest Education Journals.

Kadir, N.A., Subki, R.N., Jamal, F.H.A., et al. (2014). The importance of teaching critical reading skills in a malaysian reading classroom. The 2014 WEI International Academic Conference Proceedings. The West East Institute.

Khatib, M., Alizadeh, I. (2012). Critical thinking skills through literary and non-literary texts in english classes. Macrothink Institute International Journal of Linguistics ISSN 1948-5425 2012 Vol.4, No.4.

Leicester, M., & Taylor, D. (2010). Critical thinking across the curriculum: developing critical thinking skills, literacy and philosophy in the primary classroom. New York: Open University Press.

Lems. K., Miller, L.D., & Soro, T.M. (2010). Teaching reading to English language learners : insights from linguistics. New York: Guilford Press.

McGregor, D. (2012). Developing thinking developing learning a guide to thinking skills in education. New York: Open University Press.

Nunan, D. (1989). Designing tasks for the communicative classroom. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Nuttall, C. (1996). Teaching reading skills in a foreign language. Oxford: Heinemann.

Okeke, R. (2009). Improving disadvantaged adolescents’ critical reading skills using direct instruction. Celebrating 19 Years of Student Research and Scholarship. University of Maryland.

Reddington, D. (2012). Developing critical thinking skills in the ABE classroom. NH Bureau of Adult Education. Mini-Grant.

Reed, B. & Peirce, B. (2004). Handbook of critical thinking resources. Prince George’s Community College.

Shen P., Yodkhumlue, B. (2011). A case study of teacher’s questioning and students’ critical thinking in college EFL reading classroom. International Journal of English Linguistics, Vol. 2, No.1.

Stone, R., Hennen, L. (2009). Best practice for teaching reading: Comprehension making connection to text. California: Corwin Press.

Tomal, D.R. (2003). Action research for educators. Oxford: A Scarecrow Press Inc.

Wikipedia the free encyclopedia. (2012). PISA 2012. Available at Accessed on October 2nd 2014.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Arif Zaenal Mustopa, Sugirin Sugirin

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

Our Journal indexed by:


 Creative Commons License
LingTera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at

View My Stats