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This chapter examines speaking as a tool to test ideas, develop unformed thoughts, and engage in real-time thinking. Speaking-to-think is a tool to hone your ideas and thoughts, get feedback and critique from others, or bond with your group. Speaking at university provides a relatively safe environment to practice this tool so that you can speak confidently beyond university, for example in your professional life. When speaking, you should focus on aiming to improve thinking, not image, and use whatever words are available without letting fluency hold you back. You should also ensure that your volume, articulation, pace, phrasing, and engagement contribute to being heard and understood. Moreover, you should welcome feedback and critique as one of the main purposes of speaking. It is also important to explore ways to overcome obstacles such as lack of confidence, anxiety conditions, emotion, and lack of opportunity.


Becoming a Critical Thinker starts by considering what it is that makes someone a critical thinker and why critical thinking skills are worth developing. The text argues that there are many benefits to looking at the world through a critical lens. The book first defines critical thinking in direct relation to the university experience before proceeding to discuss the ways in which a learner can become more of a critical thinker. The second part of the book looks at the three aims of critical thinking: quality of argument, strength of evidence, and clarity of communication. The final part is about mastering the tools of critical thinking. There are five major tools that a good critical thinker should use: writing, reading, listening, speaking, and—perhaps obviously—thinking.