Using Webquests for Oral Communication in English as a Foreign Language for Tourism Studies
Journal of Educational Technology & Society Volume 12, Number 1, ISSN 1176-3647 e-ISSN 1176-3647
A long-standing debate in native and foreign language learning revolves around the use of computers to promote genuine social and professional communication. Webquests are a very common way of using Web resources to research a variety of topics, and if appropriately used can trigger the situations necessary to develop both written and oral communication. A webquest is a research activity that requires the learner "to collect information about a subject using the web" (Sharma & Barrett, 2007: 24). Much has been said about synchronous and asynchronous communication but relatively little research has been carried out on the effect of webquests in in-classroom communication. The aim of webquests is to motivate and promote students' critical thinking in order to solve problems or develop projects. This paper presents a practical background for using webquests, mainly orally. Oral use of webquests is rarely addressed in research and is especially valid for students of foreign languages for professional purposes, and specifically English. The framework hereby presented addresses three main aspects of the use of webquests: as a social constructivist learning approach, as a professional development activity and as an oral development task. If the use of webquests is associated with students' professional needs, their implementation can be very successful and help students' skills both in language development and cooperative work. This paper also provides a real example to facilitate the understanding of the theoretical concepts. (Contains 3 figures.)
Laborda, J.G. (2009). Using Webquests for Oral Communication in English as a Foreign Language for Tourism Studies. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 12(1), 258-270.
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