Education Quarterly Reviews
Published: 27 August 2021
Tracing Cultural Values in Thai Students’ Dialogical Argumentation
Chiang Mai University, Thailand
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Keywords: Argumentation Skills, Reasoning, Thinking Skills
Critical thinking and argumentation skills are crucial for developing responsible citizens and active participants in society. Indeed, reasoning and argumentation are known to be exercised differently in distinctive cultures. Historical, cultural and institutional contexts shape the way people in a society think, communicate and act. In this regard, the predominant Western assumption that reasoning should be detachable from emotion may not necessarily be accurate within the Thai cultural context. This paper highlights how different cultural assumptions were displayed in dialogical argumentation in English for fourteen, first-year undergraduates of the English Programme at a Thai university. The analysis of the argumentation data indicated that some participants presented their claims close to the end of their argumentative turns. In addition, personal experience was regularly employed as an argumentative strategy. Interestingly, there was also an absence of claims in some argumentative turns. The aforementioned findings and the themes derived from an analysis of the semi-structured interview data reflect some specific characteristics of Thai culture and values. They include indirectness and a desire for harmony, a subjectivity in argumentation and modesty.
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