Document Type : Research Paper


Herat University, Afghanistan


This study explored instructors’ attitudes toward developing EFL students’ critical thinking (CT) skills through contextualized teaching and learning. It specifically investigated instructors’ experiences of the challenges as well as strategies for implementing contextual teaching and learning (CTL)-based activities to foster learners’ CT skills. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews with five Afghan EFL instructors of the English Department of Herat University. The data were analyzed thematically. The findings indicated that the CTL approach helps to create a comfortable classroom atmosphere, build confidence among students, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote a culture of understanding and respect. Furthermore, the findings revealed that the five interviewed participants employed strategies such as role-play, scenario, debate, group work, peer work, problem-solving, and question-answer sessions to develop students’ CT skills. Further, large class sizes, lack of resources, and lack of contextualized teaching materials were reported as challenges that constrain the process of incorporating the CTL approach to develop Afghan students’ CT. The study’s implications and further research directions are discussed.