Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 14. Number 3 September 2023                            Pp. 309-323

Full Paper PDF   

Strategies of Content Knowledge Representation and EFL Learners English Writing Proficiency:
Mediating Role of Critical Thinking Skills

 Shen Xiaolei
Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Serdang Selangor, Malaysia.

 Lilliati Ismail
Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia
Serdang Selangor, Malaysia.
Corresponding Author:

Hu Yurong
Faculty of Language and Linguistics, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Wei Mengqi
Foreign Language Department, Henan Normal University, Henan Province, China


Received:05/12/2023             Accepted:08/25/2023                     Published:  09/24/2023


Abstract :
The exploration of optimizing content knowledge representation and enhancing critical thinking capabilities in English as Foreign Language (EFL) learners’ writing still needs to be improved. Cultivating adept critical thinking skills and effective content knowledge representation is paramount for EFL learners, given its correlation with heightened writing proficiency. This study sought to examine critical thinking skills as a mediator in the correlation between strategies of content knowledge representation and writing proficiency among EFL learners. A total of 360 English as foreign language participants engaged in the California Critical Thinking Skills Test and responded to a questionnaire on strategies of content knowledge representation conducted at Kaifeng Science Technology and Communication College, China. Subsequently, participants undertook a writing task, and the outcomes underwent analysis using SPSS 26.0, incorporating descriptive analysis, correlational analysis, and AMOS 24.0 for mediating analysis. The findings unveiled a correlation between critical thinking skills and EFL learners’ writing proficiency, echoing the association observed between content knowledge representation strategies and writing proficiency. Furthermore, critical thinking skills were identified as a mediator, linking content knowledge representation strategies to writing proficiency among EFL learners. The combination of content knowledge representation and critical thinking skills emerged as a positive role in the writing process. This research underscored the paramount significance of critical thinking skills within a specialized discipline, highlighting their transformative potential for EFL learners’ writing competency and accentuating their functions in the broader writing pedagogy.
Keywords: content knowledge representation, critical thinking skills, English as foreign language learners,
writing pedagogy, writing proficiency

Cite as: Xiaolei, S., Ismail, L., Yurong, H., & Mengqi, W. (2023). Strategies of Content Knowledge Representation and EFL Learners’ English Writing Proficiency: Mediating Role of Critical Thinking Skills. Arab World English Journal, 14 (3) 309-323.


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Received: 05/12/2023
Accepted: 08/25/2023 
Published: 09/24/2023    

Shen Xiaolei is a PhD student in TESL at the University of Putra Malaysia at the Faculty of Educational Studies. She is fascinated about learning strategies such as metacognitive strategies and critical thinking skills. ORCID ID:

Dr Lilliati Ismail is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia. Her research interests include grammar instruction and task-based language teaching.

Hu Yurong is a master student at the Faculty of Language and Linguistics, Universiti Malaya. She is interested in researching in second language teaching and discourse analysis. ORCID ID:

Wei Mengqi is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Foreign Language, Henan Normal University. Her research interests include cognitive strategies and foreign language teaching.