Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 14. Number 3 September 2023                                 Pp. 151-165

Full Paper PDF

Development and Validation of the Chinese Critical Thinking Disposition Scale among
Foreign Language Students

Ling Xu
School of Intercultural Studies, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang, China
Language Academy, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Corresponding Author:

 Tina Abdullah
Language Academy, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Jing An
School of Education, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang, China


Received: 05/22/2023             Accepted:08/24/2023               Published: 09/24/2023

Although much research acknowledges the positive contributions of CT dispositions to learning a foreign language, less scale development work has focused on the dispositions towards critical thinking of foreign language students in the Chinese language, leading to the limited availability of reliable and valid Chinese critical thinking disposition measurements in foreign language education. The current research aims to develop and validate the Chinese Critical Thinking Disposition Scale using Exploratory Factor Analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) in two foreign language student samples from China. It filled the gap of limited reliable and valid Chinese scales assessing critical thinking disposition. A total of 538 (103 for EFA and 435 for CFA) foreign language students in China from Zaozhuang University and Jiangxi Normal University participated in the study. Results of the CFA confirmed a five-factor CHCTDS with 17 items on a seven-point Likert scale as an acceptable model fit for the data (χ2/df= 3.492, NFI= .911, CFI= .934, TLI= .918, IFI= .935, and RMSEA= .076) with good reliability and convergent as well as discriminant validity. The Cronbach’s α was .934 for the overall scale, and that of the five subscales ranged from .776 to .851. Therefore, the CHCTDS developed in this paper may be recommended as a valid Chinese scale measuring foreign language learners’ critical thinking dispositions. Still, it needs further validation among larger populations and across gender.
Keywords: Chinese language, critical thinking disposition, disposition scale, factor analysis, measurement,
foreign language students

Cite as: Xu, L., Abdullah, T., & An, J. (2023). Development and Validation of the Chinese Critical Thinking Disposition Scale among Foreign Language Students. Arab World English Journal, 14 (3) 151-165.


American Philosophical Association (APA). (1990). Critical thinking: A statement of expert consensus for purposes of educational assessment and instruction (“The Delphi Report”). ERIC Document Reproduction, No. ED 315423.

Bong, M. (2008). Effects of parent-child relationships and classroom goal structures on motivation, help-seeking avoidance, and cheating. The journal of experimental education, 76(2), 191-217.

Brislin, R. W. (1970). Back-translation for cross-cultural research. Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology1(3), 185-216.

Brookfield, S. D. (1987). Developing critical thinkers. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

Brown, T. A. (2015). Confirmatory factor analysis for applied research. New York: Guilford Publications.

Cheng, M. H. M., & Wan, Z. H. (2017). Exploring the effects of classroom learning environment on critical thinking skills and disposition: A study of Hong Kong 12th graders in Liberal Studies. Thinking Skills and Creativity24, 152-163.

Clifford, J. S., Boufal, M. M., & Kurtz, J. E. (2004). Personality traits and critical thinking skills in college students: Empirical tests of a two-factor theory. Assessment, 11, 169–176.

Comrey, A. L., & Lee, H. B. (1992). A first course in factor analysis. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Costello, A. B., & Osborne, J. W. (2005). Best practices in exploratory factor analysis: Four recommendations for getting the most from your analysis. Practical Assessment, Research

Din, M. (2020). Evaluating university students’ critical thinking ability as reflected in their critical reading skill: A study at bachelor level in Pakistan. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 35, 100627.

Dwyer, C. P., Hogan, M. J., Harney, O. M., & Kavanagh, C. (2017). Facilitating a student-educator conceptual model of dispositions towards critical thinking through interactive management. Educational Technology Research and Development, 65(1), 47-73.

Ennis, R. H. (1996). Critical thinking dispositions: Their nature and assessability. Informal Logic, 18, 165–182.

Facione, P. A. (2000). The disposition toward critical thinking: Its character, measurement, and relationship to critical thinking skill. Informal Logic, 20(1), 61-84.

Facione, P. A. (2011). Critical thinking: What it is and why it counts. Insight assessment, 2007(1), 1-23.

Facione, P. A. & Facione, N. C. (1992). The California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory (CCTDI); And the CCTDI test manual. California Academic Press.

Fan, K., & See, B. H. (2022). How do Chinese students’ critical thinking compare with other students?: a structured review of the existing evidence. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 46.

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research,18, 39–50.

Frolova, N., Shagivaleeva, G., Kamal, M., Spichak, V., & Salimova, S. (2021). Anxiety level and critical thinking associated with foreign language learning, depending on educational and professional activities. Thinking Skills and Creativity41, 100897.

Hair, J.F., Black, W.C., Babin, B.J., & Anderson, R.E. (2010). Multivariate Data Analysis (7th ed.). Pearson, New York.

Halpern, D. F. (1998). Teaching critical thinking for transfer across domains. American Psychologist, 53, 449–455.

Ip, W. Y. et al. (2000). Disposition towards critical thinking: A study of Chinese undergraduate nursing students. Journal of Advanced Nursing32(1), 84-90.

Johns, R. (2010). Likert items and scales. Survey question bank: Methods fact sheet, 1(1), 11-28.

Kaiser, H. F. (1960). The application of electronic computers to factor analysis. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 20, 141–151.

Kaiser, H. F. (1974). An index of factorial simplicity. Psychometrika, 39(1), 31–36.

Kline, R. B. (2015). Principles and Practice of Structural Equation Modeling (4th ed.). New York: Guilford Publications.

Krashen, S. (1982). Accounting for child-adult differences in second language rate and attainment. In S. Krashen, R. Scarcella, & M. Long (Eds.), Child-adult differences in second language acquisition (pp. 202-226). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.

Ku, K. Y. (2009). Assessing students’ critical thinking performance: Urging for measurements using multi-response format. Thinking Skills and Creativity4(1), 70-76.

Ku, K. Y. L., & Ho, I. T. (2010). Dispositional factors predicting Chinese students’ critical thinking performance. Personality and Individual Differences, 48, 54–58.

Kuhn, D. (1999). A developmental model of critical thinking. Educational researcher, 28(2), 16–46.

McPeck, J. E. (1981). Critical thinking and education. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Norris, S. P. (1992). Testing for the disposition to think critically. Informal Logic, 14(2), 157-164.

Norris, S. P. (2003). The meaning of critical thinking test performance: The effects of abilities and dispositions on scores. In D. Fasko (Ed.), Critical thinking and reasoning: Current research, theory and practice (pp. 315–329). Hampton Press.

Pallant, J. (2007). SPSS Survival Manual-A Step by Step Guide to Data Analysis Using SPSS for Windows (3rd ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J.-Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioural research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879–903.

Presbitero, A. (2020). Foreign language skill, anxiety, cultural intelligence and individual task performance in global virtual teams: A cognitive perspective. Journal of International Management26(2), 100729.

Quinn, S., Hogan, M., Dwyer, C., Finn, P., & Fogarty, E. (2020). Development and validation of the student-educator negotiated critical thinking dispositions scale (SENCTDS). Thinking Skills and Creativity38, 100710.

Snedecor, G. W., & Cochran, W. G. (1980). Statistical Methods (7th ed.). Ames: Iowa State University Press.

Sosu, E. M. (2013). The development and psychometric validation of a Critical Thinking Disposition Scale. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 9, 107–119.

Tunçel, H. (2015). The relationship between self-confidence and learning Turkish as a foreign language. Educational Research and Reviews, 10(18), 2575-2589.

Ünaldı, İ., & Yüce, E. (2021). The relationship among vocabulary size, grammar proficiency, and critical thinking skills of adult language learners. Adult Learning32(2), 70-78.

Valenzuela, J., Nieto, A. M., & Saiz, C. (2011). Critical thinking motivational scale: A contribution to the study of relationship between critical thinking and motivation. Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 9(2), 823–848.

Walsh, C. M., Seldomridge, L. A., & Badros, K. K. (2007). California critical thinking disposition inventory: Further factor analytic examination. Perceptual and Motor Skills104(1), 141-151.

Wang, Y. Y., Nakamura, T., & Sanefuji, W. (2020). The influence of parental rearing styles on university students’ critical thinking dispositions: The mediating role of self-esteem. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 32, 1-8.

Wang, J., & Wang, X. (2012). Structural Equation Modeling: Applications Using Mplus. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, Higher Education Press.

Wen Q. F. (2012). Research on the current situation of Chinese foreign language college students’ critical thinking ability. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.

Willard, A. K., & Norenzayan, A. (2013). Cognitive biases explain religious belief, paranormal belief, and belief in life’s purpose. Cognition, 129(2), 379–391.

Worthington, R. L., & Whittaker, T. A. (2006). Scale Development Research: A Content Analysis and Recommendations for Best Practices. The Counseling Psychologist, 34, 806–838.

Wu M. L. (2013). Structural Equation Modeling—Amos practice advanced. Chongqing: Chongqing University Press.

Xu, L., Abdullah, T., Liu, Q., & Shahroom, N. (2023). Effects of Critical Thinking Disposition on Foreign Language Proficiency in Foreign Language Learning: Evidence from China. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ), Special Issue on Communication and Language in Virtual Spaces, January, 189-205.

Yeh, M. L. (2002). Assessing the reliability and validity of the Chinese version of the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory. International Journal of Nursing Studies39(2), 123-132.

Yockey, R. D. (2016). Validation Study of the Critical Thinking Dispositions Scale: A Brief Report. North American Journal of Psychology, 18(1).

Received: 05/22/2023 
Accepted: 08/24/2023   
Published: 09/24/2023 

Ling Xu is a teacher in Jiangxi Normal university, China. She has been teaching English as a foreign language for more than ten years. She is also a PhD candidate specializing in Applied Linguistics at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Her research interests are in foreign language learning, foreign language teaching, and critical thinking. ORCID ID:

Dr. Tina Abdullah is an associate professor at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. She has been teaching for 29 years. She is also a supervisor for undergraduate and postgraduate learners who has supervised various dissertations. Her professional interests include Literature, ELT, Meaning Making, and Materials Development. ORCID ID:

Jing An is a teacher in school of education, Jiangxi Normal University, China. She has got her PhD in Education. Her areas of interests include ethnic education, and educational economics and management. ORCID ID: