The ability to understand and control learning refers to self-regulation and critical thinking. Critical thinking is a very important element of self-regulated learning. It has been of significant interest and one of the dominant research areas in educational contexts in various countries. But not much information has been given on critical thinking as a focus self-regulated learning. The purpose of this article is to show how critical thinking affects self-regulated learning. The authors of the article offered a 104-hour course of English to 57 (among them males 22, females 32) second-year students of National Research University “Higher School of Economics”, Public Administration Studies. The course was designed to develop students' critical thinking through the set of activities for improving listening skills. The students were divided into two groups, one of them being an experimental; the other the control one. The students of the experimental group followed the designed course. The control group students continued their studies in the traditional way. The assessment of the critical thinking development among the students of both groups was conducted with the help of the questionnaire and according to the students' level of performance through Objectives Placement Test. The results of the questionnaire and placement test showed that in the self-regulatory context critical thinking is one of the most important cognitive mechanisms, which also demonstrates the level of students' performance in English. The continuation of the research is provoked by the designed course outcome taking into account critical thinking instruction which is important as it is seen from the experiment in developing critical thinking skills.