This article reports a case study in a rural South African school on promoting critical-analytic thinking through teacher discourse moves and pedagogical principles. The study investigated the use of teacher discourse moves and pedagogical principles as a component of the Quality Talk model. The Qualitative research methodology and a case study design that entailed the use of interviews, classroom observations and document analysis were used. Data was gathered from an English teacher and 52 Grade 8 students. The data was coded using Quality Talk model indicators and analysed thematically. The findings revealed evidence that teacher training and support in the use of a range of teacher discourse moves and pedagogical principles could enhance students’ development of critical-analytic thinking. It is therefore recommended that teacher training in the use of pedagogical approaches that enhance the development of critical-analytic thinking should be incorporated in professional development programmes.