Critical thinking skill is the ability to analyse information clearly and rationally make judgements. This skill is deemed to be essential in today’s world in order to be able to compete globally. Due to this external demand on educational system, students need to be equipped with efficient critical thinking skill. However, critical thinking skills need to be taught and developed over time. Hence, teachers play an important role to nurture these skills in students in the classroom, in this case, in ESL classroom. Teachers’ perceptions are closely related to their behaviour and attitude towards the teaching of critical thinking in ESL classroom. Various literatures also reported teachers often experience barriers in implementing critical thinking skills in a language classroom. This study aims to explore teachers’ perception of critical thinking and find out major barrier they perceived in teaching critical thinking in ESL classroom. This is a quantitative research and data was collected via survey. The survey contained 43 items using a five-point Likert scale. The number of participants involved in the study was 40 and they came from various primary schools in Lahad Datu, Sabah. Data collected was quantitatively analysed using SPSS application. This study found that teachers have positive perception on critical thinking in general and perceived student-related factors as the major barrier in teaching critical thinking. The positive perception opens a great opportunity for more effective methods and instructions in teaching of critical thinking in the classroom. Thus, might be able to remove the major barrier perceived, which is related to students and hope to benefit the students more. This study also hoped to provide sufficient information for future research in regard to the teaching of critical thinking in ESL classroom.
Critical Thinking Skill, Critical Thinking Barriers, Primary Education, ESL