This article provides an examination of the literature on issues surrounding the problems Japanese university students face in learning critical argument in their English academic writing courses. Japanese students’ critical thinking skills are criticized as not fostered in their university education, perhaps due to Confucian education ideals, Japanese ‘reader-responsible’ rhetorical structures, or misinterpretations by Western instructors. The article is presented in four sections providing first, an examination of English L2 in the Japanese context, second, an analysis of Japanese to English contrastive rhetoric, and third, a discussion of the debate on Japanese university students’ critical thinking in EFL writing. The article finishes with several suggestions to provide ways of dealing with the key challenges and fostering more positive development of critical thinking in Japanese students’ EFL academic writing.
Mckinley, J. (2013). Displaying Critical Thinking in EFL Academic Writing: A Discussion of Japanese to English Contrastive Rhetoric. RELC Journal, 44(2), 195-208. https://doi.org/10.1177/0033688213488386