The Level of Thinking Skills in the Reading Section of EFL Textbook in Indonesia

Soni Ariawan, Muh Azhar Kholidi, Mulyono Putra


The curricular implementations are represented in the textbook. The textbook is used by all students, who may have varying levels of thinking skill; however, it is a good opportunity to encourage students, regardless of their critical thinking skill level, to not only learn to know and understand, but also to apply, evaluate, and create such a product from their learning. The present study aims to investigates the level of thinking skills employed in the reading parts of EFL textbooks in Indonesia. The Ministry of Education and Culture officially printed the textbook for senior high school students in grade X. Content analysis was used to explore the level and frequency of thinking skills, focusing on the task and reading questions in the textbook. The data were quantitatively displayed in the form of a table. It was gained through the coding process based on the theoretical framework of Low Order Thinking Skills (LOTS) and High Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) introduced by Bloom. It was found that the textbook mostly included knowledge and comprehension levels of thinking in the reading tasks and questions. It means that LOTS-based tasks and questions are more dominant than HOTS. 


LOTS, HOTS; Bloom taxonomy; reading tasks; reading questions

Full Text:



Afflerbach, P., Cho, B. Y., & Kim, J. Y. (2015). Conceptualizing and Assessing Higher-Order Thinking in Reading. Theory into Practice, 54(3), 203–212.

Ariawan, S. (2020). Investigating Cultural Dimensions in EFL Textbook by Using Byram Checklist. Register Journal, 13(1), 123–152.

Arifin, S., Ilyas, H. F., & Sukmawidjaya, M. (2020). Using Journal Entries and Assigned Writing to Promote Students' Critical Thinking. VELES: Voices of English Language Education Society, 4(1), 106–117.

Aryani, E. J., & Wahyuni, S. (2020). An Analysis of Higher Order Thinking Skills Realization in Reading Comprehension Questions. Language Circle: Journal of Language and Literature, 15(1), 83–89.

Behnam, B., & Mozaheb, M. A. (2013). Identity, Religion and New Definition of Inclusiveness in Iranian High School EFL Textbooks. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 70, 1099–1108.

Bloom, B. S., & Krathwohl, D. R. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals. In Handbook I: Cognitive Domain. Longmans.

Canh, L. V. (2018). A critical analysis of moral values in Vietnam-produced EFL textbooks for upper secondary schools. In H. Widodo, M. Perfecto, L. Van Canh, & A. Buripakdi (Eds.),. In Situating moral and cultural values in ELT materials: The Southeast Asian context (pp. 111–129). Springer.

Elmiana, D. S. (2019). Pedagogical representation of visual images in EFL textbooks: A multimodal perspective. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 27(4), 613–628.

Facione, P. A. (1990). Critical Thinking: A Statement of Expert Consensus for Purposes of Educational Assessment and Instruction Executive Summary "The Delphi Report. The California Academic Press, 423(c), 1–19.

Feng, W. D. (2019). Ontogenetic analysis of social values in EFL textbooks in Hong Kong. . . Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 40(4), 458–473. 01596306.2017.1356806.

Fisher, A. (2001). Critical Thinking. An Introduction. In Cambridge University Press. Cambridge University Press.

Freahat, N. M., & Smadi, O. M. (2014). Lower-order and Higher-order Reading Questions in Secondary and University Level EFL Textbooks in Jordan. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 4(9), 1804–1813.

Gyenes, A. (2021). Student perceptions of critical thinking in EMI programs at Japanese universities: A Q-methodology study. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 54, 101053.

Huberman, A., & Miles, M. (2012). Understanding and Validity in Qualitative Research. In The Qualitative Researcher's Companion. Sage Publications.

Irianti, L., Febriani, R. B., & Friatin, L. Y. (2022). Promoting Students' Higher Order Thinking through Flipped Classroom Model in Listening Comprehension Classes. VELES: Voices of English Language Education Society, 6(1), 201–214.

Joynes, C., Rossignoli, S., & Kuofi, E. F. (2019). 21st century skills: Evidence of issue in definition, demand, and delivery for development contexts. Knowledge, evidence, and learning for development contexts (K4D helpdesk report). Institute of Development Studies.

Koster, Dr. D., & Litosseliti, Dr. L. (2021). Multidimensional perspectives on gender in Dutch language education: Textbooks and teacher talk. Linguistics and Education, 64, 100953.

Lee, J. F. K. (2018). Gender representation in Japanese EFL textbooks – a corpus study. Gender and Education, 30(3), 379–395.

Limbach, B., & Waugh, W. (2010). Developing higher level thinking. Journal of Instructional Pedagogies, 3(1), 1–9.

Lindqvist, N., & Soler, J. (2022). World Englishes in ELT textbooks in Swedish upper-secondary schools. World Englishes.

Madhuri, G. V., Kantamreddi, V. S. S. N., & Prakash Goteti, L. N. S. (2012). Promoting higher order thinking skills using inquiry-based learning. European Journal of Engineering Education, 37(2), 117–123.

Mahoney, J. W., & Harris-Reeves, B. (2019). The effects of collaborative testing on higher order thinking: Do the bright get brighter? Active Learning in Higher Education, 20(1), 25–37.

Paul, R. (2005). The state of critical thinking today. New Directions for Community Colleges.

Paul, R., & Elder, L. & F. for C. T. (2012). The miniature guide to critical thinking: Concepts and tools. 27th International Conference on Critical Thinking, 2005(130), 27–38.

Puspitasari, D., Widodo, H. P., Widyaningrum, L., Allamnakhrah, A., & Lestariyana, R. P. D. (2021). How do primary school English textbooks teach moral values? A critical discourse analysis. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 70, 101044.

Setyono, B., & Widodo, H. P. (2019). The representation of multicultural values in the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture-Endorsed EFL textbook: A critical discourse analysis. Intercultural Education, 30(4), 383–397.

Sovič, A., & Hus, V. (2015). Gender Stereotype Analysis of the Textbooks for Young Learners. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 186, 495–501.

Sutama, S., Fuadi, D., Narimo, S., Hafida, S. H. N., Novitasari, M., Anif, S., Prayitno, H. J., Sunanih, S., & Adnan, M. (2022). Collaborative mathematics learning management: Critical thinking skills in problem solving. International Journal of Evaluation and Research in Education (IJERE), 11(3), Article 3.

Tran-Thanh, V. (2020). Queer identity inclusion in the EFL classroom: Vietnamese teachers' perspectives. TESOL Journal, 11(3), e00512.

Ulum, Ö. (2016). A Descriptive Content Analysis of the Extent of Bloom's Taxonomy in the Reading Comprehension Questions of the Course Book Q: Skills for Success 4 Reading and Writing. The Qualitative Report, 21(9), 1674–1683.

Ulum, O. G. (2016). A descriptive content analysis of the extent of Bloom's taxonomy in the reading comprehension questions of the course book Q: skill for success 4 reading and writing. The Qualitative Report, 21(9), 1674–1683.

Viana, S. A., Suhandra, R. I., & Ariawan, S. (2022). The Analysis of EFL Students' Level of Thinking Skill in Speaking Activities. 1, 103–109. Tadris Bahasa Inggris IAIN Kediri:

Vu, T., & Febrianti, Y. (2018). Teachers' Reflections on the Visual Resources in English Textbooks for Vietnamese Lower Secondary Schools. TEFLIN Journal, 29(2), Article 2.

Widiati, A. S. (2012). The Levels of Thinking Skills in The Reading Comprehension Questions Given by the English Teachers of The Senior High Schools. Magister Scientiae, 0(31), 25–33.

Widodo, H. P., & Elyas, T. (2020). Introduction to Gender in Language Education. Sexuality & Culture, 24(4), 1019–1027.

Xiong, T., & Yuan, Z. (2018). "It Was Because I Could Speak English That I Got the Job": Neoliberal Discourse in a Chinese English Textbook Series. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 17(2), 103–117.

Xu, J. (2011). The application of critical thinking in teaching English reading. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 1(2), 136–141.

Yasin, M. S. M., Hamid, B. A., Othman, Z., Bakar, K. A., Hashim, F., & Mohti, A. (2012). A Visual Analysis of a Malaysian English School Textbook: Gender Matters. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 69, 1871–1880.

Yulian, R. (2021). The flipped classroom: Improving critical thinking for critical reading of EFL learners in higher education. Studies in English Language and Education, 8(2), Article 2.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Soni Ariawan, Muh Azhar Kholidi, Mulyono Putra

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

VELES' Visitors


Creative Commons License
VELES Journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Contact Us: VELES (Voices of English Language Education Society);

Address: Faculty of Language, Arts, and Humanities, Universitas Hamzanwadi

Jln. TGKH. M. Zainuddin Abdul Majid No. 132 Pancor, Selong-Lombok Timur, NTB, Indonesia. e-mail: