Friday, April 6, 2012

” The role of WebQuests in learning a foreign/second language”

WebQuests are activities, using Internet resources, which encourage students to use higher order thinking skills to solve a real messy problem.WebQuests are a sub-set of Problem-Based Learning (PBL).

WebQuests are one way to use the Internet in education.  

A WebQuest has 6 essential parts: introduction, task, process, resources, evaluation, and conclusion.

Webquests have been used in one form or another since the Web began to become popular and to be used in instruction with the arrival of the Mosaic browser in 1993. Bernie Dodge of San Diego State University is usually identified as the originator of the concept of the Webquest, which he defines as "an inquiry oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the internet, optionally supplemented with videoconferencing.

Webquests help develop cognitive thinking and it builds new knowledge. Teachers can improve students' critical thinking skill by using WebQuest when they are use WebQuests to direct students to not only search for information but to debate, discuss or defend a particular stance with classmates.

WebQuests reinforcement collaboration by divide student in groups teaches them to work together and ask questions. WebQuest tasks divided into different parts to make students learn how to connect their ideas to find certain information.

WebQuests also usually require good reading skills, so are not appropriate to the youngest classrooms or to students with language and reading difficulties without special design and effort (for example, bringing in adults to read the screens out loud.)
Project-based learning, or PBL, is the use of in-depth and rigorous classroom projects to facilitate learning and assess student competence.

PBL relies on learning groups. Student groups determine their projects, in so doing; they engage student voice by encouraging students to take full responsibility for their learning. This is what makes PBL constructivist. Students work together to accomplish specific goals.

I will use Webquests with my future EFL students because WebQuest is a great tool to be used in TEFL/TESL field. It has many wonderful characteristics that make teaching language more interesting .Also, it increase student motivation and my student will explore more information through use it.

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