Quality Talks: Does it matter in Improving Reading Comprehension and Critical Thinking Ability

Project: Government MinistryMinistry of Science and Technology

Project Details


Classroom talk has been viewed as an important approach to enhance student learning and reading cognition. The mainstream classroom talk is the process of initiation, response, and evaluation, so-called IRE. And the other approach is the small group discussion. Quality Talks is a module developed by the University of Pennsylvania and has been proven to be a group discussion approach that helps improving student’s reading comprehension and enhancing critical thinking. However, cultural and language differences in context might influence the discussion and interaction in class. In most Asian countries, teachers are deemed as the main role in teaching knowledge. Students are accustomed to passive learning. They are less likely to actively asking questions. Sometimes students worry about teacher or peer’s judgment and are timid to ask questions in class. Moreover, most of the learning significantly relies on the textbook in Taiwan. There is a fixed schedule for each curriculum and examinations are applied to evaluate the learning achievement. Therefore, how to embed Quality Talk in the current education system, how to conduct Quality Talk in the classroom, and the acceptance and learning achievement of students who go through Quality Talk, are the research topics that worth studying. This research applied action research. The research subjects were the students in Chinese Language Class. Through the cyclic process of planning, action, observation, and reflection, the research aimed to develop the framework of Quality Talk in Chinese Language Class and learned the change of the question level and critical capacity among students. The action research has been conducted for one semester. The research found that students enjoyed reading discussion, active learning and the frequency of different levels of questions increased, and so did the critical responses. Students have better reasoning arguments in their writings. Though the actual lecture hours reduced, the Quality Talk approach improved the outcome achievement of the class, they were ranked in the middle before the Quality Talk and turned out to be the top among the sixth graders.
Effective start/end date2018/08/012019/12/31


  • Quality Talks
  • Small Group Discussion
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Questioning Skills
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Chinese Language Course