The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of teacher discourse moves and pedagogical principles in order to develop critical-analytic thinking in English Language lessons in a rural South African secondary school. The theoretical framework in which the study is located is Social Constructivism, meta-theoretically supplemented by Interpretivism. Qualitative research methodology and a case study design were used to collect and analyse in-depth data from multiple sources. Data was collected through interviews, classroom observations and document analysis. One rural school (n=1) involved in the on-going Quality Talk (QT) study at the University of Pretoria was conveniently selected, while the participating English teacher (n=1) and English language class (n= 52 students: females 27, males 25) were purposively selected. Data were coded using Quality Talk Model indicators and analysed thematically. The findings revealed teacher’s inadequate training and knowledge in the use of a range of instructional practices and teacher discourse moves in line with QT intervention model to impact negatively on students' overall development of critical-analytic thinking.
A significant insight from this study is that it has introduced the use of specific instructional and dialogical discourse strategies, aligned with the QT intervention Model into the teaching of critical-analytic thinking of English language text and content in a rural secondary school. In a nutshell, this study has succeeded in informing knowledge that promoting critical-analytic thinking through specific teacher discourse moves and pedagogic principles in rural secondary school is possible, even under severe resource constraints situations. It is recommended, amongst others, that optimum support be rendered to teachers and students through improved pedagogic strategies and appropriate teaching and learning resource provision. Together, these should address the needs of English Language teachers and students in rural areas.