Critical Review of Scholarly Literature

Topics: English language, Critical thinking, United Kingdom Pages: 5 (1502 words) Published: November 1, 2014

For this assignment, the learner chose the article “Bilingual lexical skills of school age children with Chinese and Korean heritage language in the United States” by Gisela Jia, Jennifer Chen, Hye Young Kim, Phoenix-Shan Chan and Changmo Jeung. This article described the “potential patterns of development in bilingual lexical skills over the elementary to high school time span and to examine the relation of environmental factors to lexical skills” (Jia et al., 2014, p. 350). The authors utilized a variety of assessment in the participants' heritage language as well as English in order to obtain accurate results. The authors determined that heritage language continues to develop into the primary school years and eventually reaches a ceiling, whereupon English becomes the dominant language of communication (Jia et al., 2014)

Paul and Elder's Universal Intellectual Standards
Richard Paul and Linda Elder, authors of “Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools” describe critical thinking as “the art of analyzing and evaluating thinking with a view of improving it” (Paul and Elder, 2009, p.2). In order to improve the critical thinking abilities of university faculty, students, and the general population, they developed the eight Universal Intellectual Standards to help individuals think on a deeper level. These standards include: Clarity, Accuracy, Precision, Relevance, Depth, Breadth, Logic, and Fairness (Paul and Elder, 2009). After reading the article, the learner analyzed the article in light of Paul and Elder's Universal Intellectual Standards. The four standards chosen were: Precision, Accuracy, Breadth, and Fairness.

Standard One: Precision
Precision is an author's ability to give adequate details and specifics about their research and findings so as to leave no lingering questions for the reader (Paul and Elder, 2009). The authors explicitly stated the number of participants in the study as well as their breakdown by nationality and birthplace (U.S. vs. home country). The authors also gave detailed explanations of their assessments and how they were carried out. Finally, the authors thoroughly explained the results of their assessments as well as other factors that influenced the participants acquisition of English and their subsequent loss of their heritage language.

Question for the authors regarding the Precision Standard
In analyzing the article, the learner did find one area where the authors could be more precise. The authors state, “More English use with mothers was related to poorer performance on the English Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) task” (Jia et al., 2014, p. 355). Earlier in the article, the authors stated they completed a survey of parents' educational levels and English abilities, with the mothers scoring slightly lower in English ability than the fathers (Jia et al., 2014.) My question to the authors would be, could you be more specific about the link between the mothers' lower English level and the poorer performance on the English PPVT? Both of these statements were stated in the article, but there was no connection made between them. The learner would like more specifics on the reason for the poorer performance and a correlation made to the mothers' English ability if one exists.

Standard Two: Accuracy
Accuracy deals with an author's degree of truthfulness and validity in presenting their research and results (Paul and Elder, 2009). Addressing the Accuracy Standard, the authors instituted several measures to ensure that the assessment results where accurate and valid, including testing in English as well as Heritage Language. For the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), a recording was made of a native English speaker asking the prompts as none of the examiners were native English speakers.

Question for the authors regarding the Accuracy Standard
However, the author does state, [The] PPVT was only administered in English. Cantonese, Mandarin, and...

References: Jia, G., Chen, J., Kim, H. Y., Chan, P-S., Jeung, C. (2014). Bilingual lexical skills of school-age children with Chinese and Korean heritage languages in the United States. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 38(4), 350-358. Downloaded from jbd.sagepub.com at Capella University on October 18, 2014.
Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2009). The miniature guide to critical thinking: Concepts and tools (6th ed.). Tomales, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.
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