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“Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance”: Developing Critical Thinking Skills of EFL Students by Examining the Relationship Between Language and Power in The Handmaid’s Tale
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The concept of fake news refers to disinformation produced to imitate the layout of credible news organization to either put forth an agenda or to deliberately mislead unsuspecting individuals. Consequently, this has become a valuable instrument for influential figures to exploit with the intention to advance their political agendas, especially in the current post-truth politics. Due to social media and other networking platforms, spreading information, whether true or false, has become effortless where anyone can publish inaccurate information to influence others. In order to combat the rampant spread of disinformation and fake news, being able to think critically is an essential skill to develop, especially at a younger age. Therefore, the present study suggests that by using literature, EFL students in upper secondary class will be able to expand their critical thinking skills. In particular, this essay examines The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and relates it to the current political discourse of fake news. The Handmaid’s Tale displays numerous illuminating techniques correlating the relationship between language and power from the manipulation of disinformation and creating language to establish the Gileadean regime and to control its people, to regarding language as an instrument to gain back a sense of agency for the characters. Lastly, to develop critical thinking skills of students, the essay produces a series of lesson, using The Handmaid’s Tale as the primary text, based on the pedagogical model designed by Bobkina and Stefanova. This pedagogical model is relevant because it is a reader-centered approach where students are able to reflect, analyze, interpret, and contrast between the literary work and their own reality.

Keywords: Critical thinking, fake news, disinformation, The Handmaid’s Tale, reader-response, critical literacy pedagogy, literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 34
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-178539OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-178539DiVA, id: diva2:1390645
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Available from: 2020-02-09 Created: 2020-02-02 Last updated: 2020-02-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf