Greetings and Welcome

Sunday, 31. March 2013 10:42 | Author:

Greetings and welcome to our blog. Critically Minded Podcast is a thirteen-episode podcast series that aims to teach basic critical thinking skills. It is intended for those studying English as a second language but anybody is welcome.

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Episode 13 Understanding Five Paragraph Structure

Wednesday, 2. July 2014 1:00 | Author:

In Episode 13 Nick and Dave conclude this thirteen episode series showing how everything discuss up to now fits into a typical five paragraph piece of writing.

SCRIPT:
Nick: Welcome back to Critically Minded (Critical Thinking for 2nd Language Learners).
Dave: We’re your hosts David.
Nick: And Nick. In our previous episode we finished our discussion of statistics. Now, because this is our 13th and final episode of this term we’re hoping to summarize the last three-and-half months of the talks. What better way than to show how many of those little lessons come together in the kind of writing that we often see in magazines, newspapers and the kind of writing that university students do themselves when writing a paper for a course. [...]

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Episode 12 Statistical “Truth”

Thursday, 26. June 2014 1:00 | Author:

In Episode 12 Nick and Dave continue their discussion of how statistics can be used to distract or deceive us.

SCRIPT:
Nick: Back again with Critically Minded 101 – the podcast for English learners who want to improve their critical thinking skills.
Dave: Or critical thinkers who want to improve their English. We’re your hosts David–
Nick: And I’m Nick. Now last week, we spoke about statistics and the various ways of calculating an average. We spoke about the mean, mode and medium, and explained that while they are different, newspapers and books often only use the word average when referring to either the mean, mode or medium.
Dave: And by doing so they can, if they wish, distort the value of the average. [...]

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Episode 11 Basic Statistics

Wednesday, 18. June 2014 1:00 | Author:

In Episode 12 Nick and Dave discuss the importance of statistical literacy.

SCRIPT:
Episode 11 Basic Statistics
Nick: Back again with Critically Minded 101. The podcast for English learners who want to improve their critical thinking skills.
Dave: Or critical thinkers who want to improve their English. We’re your hosts David–
Nick: And I’m Nick.
Dave: This is quite a demanding episode so we’ll cut the small-talk and chitchat and get straight to last week’s quiz.
Nick: Right, so if you are ready. Number 1. True or false? The toilet seat has more bacteria than any other place in your house. And that is . . . false. Research has shown the toilet has only 49 bacteria per square inch whereas a telephone receiver has as many as 25,000 per square inch. Even your kitchen sponge has about 10,000 bacteria per square inch. So, surprisingly, your toilet seat is quite clean. And if you don’t believe me you can read it for yourself at an URL of in our embedded script. [...]

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Episode 10 (Fallacy of Generalization) and (Beliefs and Assumptions)

Wednesday, 11. June 2014 1:00 | Author:

In Episode 10 Nick and Dave discuss two of the most common mistakes that careless thinkers make.

SCRIPT:
Nick: Back again with Critically Minded 101, the podcast for English learners who want to improve their critical thinking skills.
Dave: Or critical thinkers who want to improve their English. We’re your hosts David and Nick. By the way, Nick, is it raining out?
Nick: No.
Dave: Oh! But you are all wet.
Nick: Oh, yeah. Your neighbor is washing his car, and he accidentally sprayed me with water.
Dave: Oh, I see. I just…
Nick: Assumed it was raining?
Dave: Well, yes. I did. [...]

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Episode 9: Descriptive, Normative and Prescriptive Issues 2

Wednesday, 4. June 2014 1:00 | Author:

In Episode 9 Nick and Dave proctor a monster quiz over the three kinds of issues.

SCRIPT:
Nick: You are back again with Critically Minded (Critical Thinking for 2nd Language Learners). The podcast for English learners who want to improve their critical thinking skills.
Dave: Or critical thinkers who want to improve their English. We’re your hosts David–
Nick: And I’m Nick. Now last week, listener, we began a discussion of descriptive, normative and prescriptive issues. You’ll also recall that each kind of issue is signaled by an indicator word. You might have been disappointed that there was no quiz last week so, this week we continue that discussion with a monster quiz!
Dave: Nick, I think that right now would be an excellent time for that quiz.
Nick: Yes, listener, so without any delay we’ll begin the quiz. Please listen to the following sentences. [...]

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Episode 8: Descriptive, Normative and Prescriptive Issue 1

Wednesday, 28. May 2014 1:00 | Author:

In Episode 8 Nick and Dave discuss arguments in terms of three main issues: descriptive, normative and prescriptive. How can understanding the difference between the three make us better critical thinkers? Learn about that in this episode.

SCRIPT:
Nick: Welcome back again to Critically Minded (Critical Thinking for 2nd Language Learners). The podcast for second language learners of English who want to improve their critical thinking skills.
Dave: Or critical thinkers who want to improve their English. We’re your hosts David–
Nick: And Nick. We left you with a quiz last week and if you’ll remember, we made it a little more challenging by not giving you multiple-choice answers, but simply asked you to analyze the argument and be ready to identify six or seven of its components. To refresh your memory, it read thus: Fukuoka is a city in Japan for the following reasons [...]

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Episode 7: Validity and Soundness

Wednesday, 21. May 2014 1:00 | Author:

 This seventh episode of Critically Minded, is about validity and soundness. Nick and Dave discuss how to evaluate arguments in terms of these two terms.

 SCRIPT:Dave: Welcome back to Critically Minded in the Language Lab podcast. We’re your hosts David–
Nick: And Nick.
Dave: We’re back again after last week’s episode on hypothetical premises and arguments.
Nick: We’ll talk more about premises in future episodes but in this episode we’re taking a BIG step forward.
Dave: Yes, we sure are. You listeners may have noticed that we haven’t introduced any new vocabulary for several weeks—
Nick: We did introduce the word “hypothetical” last week.
Dave: Okay, one word. Just one. [...]

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Episode 6: Hidden Premises and Hypothetical Premises.

Wednesday, 14. May 2014 1:00 | Author:

 This sixth episode of Critically Minded finds Nick and Dave discussing of two additional kinds of premises: hidden premises and hypothetical premises. The episode ends with a quiz about different ways to express hypothetical premises.

 SCRIPT:
Dave: You’re back again with Critically Minded (Critical Thinking for 2nd Language Learners) the podcast for students of English who want to improve their critical thinking skills.
Nick: Last time as you’ll remember, we discussed the answers to the quiz two weeks ago—the quiz over major and minor premises. This week we’re discussing a third kind of premise—the hidden premise.
Dave: To hide something means to put it in a place where no one can see it. A hidden premise is hiding by not being spoken or written.
Nick: It’s hiding in the background of our common assumptions. [...]

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Episode 5: Major and Minor Premises 2

Wednesday, 7. May 2014 1:00 | Author:

 In the fifth episode of Critically Minded, Nick and Dave continue their discussion of major and minor podcasts. Questions from the previous episode’s quiz are answered. The mysterious “hidden premise” is introduced and will be more fully explained in the sixth episode.

 SCRIPT:
Dave: You are listening to Critically Minded Language Lab.
Nick: The podcast for English learners who want to become better critical thinkers.
Dave: In our last episode, we were looking at premises.
Nick: Specifically, we were looking at major and minor premises. We left you last time with a four-problem quiz. And in this episode we’re going to open with the answers to that quiz.
Dave: Then, after that we can move into the main topic of today’s episode, Hidden Premises.
Nick: So to the quiz questions! You’ll recall that [...]

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Episode 4: Major and Minor Premises 1

Wednesday, 30. April 2014 1:00 | Author:

In their fourth episode, Nick and Dave focus on major and minor premises. They explain the difference between major and minor premises and how readers and listeners can learn to distinguish one from the other. They explain why knowing the difference is important to evaluating the strength of an argument. Click here to listen.

 SCRIPT: Nick: You’re back with the Critical Thinking 101 for English Language Learners and we’re your hosts, Nick,
Dave: And David. We’re glad you’ve decided to continue this course. We’re confident that this course will make you into better thinkers and more effective decision makers.
Dave: We ended Episode 4 last week by looking at several examples of short arguments.
Nick: And we discussed the position of the reason or premise and the conclusion in each of those arguments.
Dave: We described the arguments as conclusion-first and conclusion-last. We also finished the show with a quiz.
Nick: We asked you to evaluate the argument. [...]

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