Information-based society requires adaptation of its educational system to the challenges of modern life. Among them the major challenge is the one posed by a constantly increasing amount of information that causes a significant shift in educational paradigm. That means that now the success of a professional person depends not only and completely on the formal education they get but on the ability to use information for solving problems in rapidly changing circumstances of a digital environment. Such ability is closely linked with the development of sophisticated thinking, and, in our view, foreign language classes provide the best range of opportunities for that. Since learning a foreign language is based on a text, it inevitably leads to the development of critical thinking of students. In this respect, the text in a foreign language is the most provoking, as it activates the zone of proximal development. In our ongoing project we focus on the relationship between the text work during foreign language classes and the development of the key competences in our students. For that purpose, we are conducting a qualitative study. With regard to the mentioned point, the second-year students of the Higher School of Economics were divided into two groups. Throughout the academic year the first group is to follow the communicative approach in their English classes, while in the other teaching is to be conducted according to the text-based one. Every three months we measure the level of the development of critical thinking in both groups to compare the success of both approaches. Among the tools of measurement we use the tasks that look at the students' ability to generalize, logically restructure and creatively use big amounts of information in a new landscape. So far the results collected from both groups indicate that the students working with texts are developing features of critical thinking more actively than the other group. We hope that in the long run the registered results will serve as one of the foundations for reconsidering emphasis in teaching the humanities.