Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The role of WeQuests in learning a foreign/second language

  The role of WeQuests in learning a foreign/second language

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 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. 
Webquest is useful and has its role in learning second or foreign language .One is that  Students are enthusiastic about learning through webquests. In participating in one of the Classroom connect quests (Galapagos) the students begged not to go back to the standard curriculum after the month  longendeavor.  This is a particularly good medium for low achievers.  Our results with those students using Webquests were outstanding.
 Also, With a quest students can be exposed to materials, people, activities and ideas that are not available in our standard text and are highly meaningful. In addition, Students tested after the quest experience achieved higher scores, had better retention of the information we were trying to get across. Quests offer the student self pacing and self learning.  Whether they work individually or in groups does not change this.
 Furthermore,  Students learn through discovery and synthesis with a quest.  (if structured properly)  This higher level of thinking is what we are striving for all students to achieve. Webquests offer an organized approach to using the web.  Students have resources at their fingertips and make the best use of time.   
In addition, Students using webquests must use their thinking abilities. They are required  to compare, contrast, make decisions and recommendations. They cannot lean  on a quick cut and paste for their answers. So, Webquest is very useful for learning foreign and second language.

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