Quality discussion and high-level comprehension: An analysis of Taiwanese college students

Hsiao Ling Hsua*, Hao Jan Howard Chen, Wei Tin Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Reading has been a focus of research attention because it is one of the important skills to achieve academic success and become life-long readers. Most research in reading puts focus more on how readers can comprehend information from reading; however, only a few studies have focused on how reading can facilitate readers' critical thinking. One teaching approach, Quality Talk (QT), has been found to enhance students' literal comprehension and critical thinking, but these studies have been conducted in classes where English was students' first language. Therefore, the present study aimed to examine the effects of QT on Taiwanese students' reading comprehension in English and the development of critical thinking. Two classes were randomly assigned as a control and an experimental group respectively. While the students in the control group received regular English class, the students in the experimental group received a training session including how to ask questions and how to conduct group discussions. The students' reading comprehension was evaluated through multiple choices and open-ended questions; and their development of critical thinking was evaluated through group discussions which were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. The results have shown that scores of the reading comprehension test in the experimental group were significantly higher, which suggested that the training session made the students more involved in the text and they thus had better understanding on the text. The experimental group students further used significantly more authentic questions, which suggested that the students were able to relate their personal experience and information of outside world to the text.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-130
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Educational Media and Library Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Critical thinking
  • Discourse analysis
  • Group discussion
  • Reading comprehension
  • Text-based discussion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Information Systems
  • Archaeology
  • Library and Information Sciences


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