Friday, April 13, 2012

The role of WebQuests in learning a foreign/second language

WebQuests  incorporate cooperative and collaborative learning, since students work on projects in groups. These concepts can play a role in teaching with Webquests. 
WebQuests can also help students meet standards focused on critical-thinking and analysis skills, and may be particularly useful for social studies and science. By using multimedia, WebQuests also help with multiple intelligence work. Alternative kinds of assessment can be used to judge the results of WebQuest projects. And, obviously, WebQuests are one way to use the Internet in education, and it also can be used to develop critical thinking skills among students to learn foreign language. 
WebQuest can promote critical thinking because it requires each member of the group to carry out a specific, meaningful role, and then pool their respective research findings to formulate a response to a complex, open-ended problem.  there can be multiple solutions to the problem in a Webquest. A good Webquest focuses on an issue that has multiple viewpoints, such as social, political, environmental, or health-related. It also requires more than information gathering; students must process the information in order to form their opinions.
WebQuests help develop higher cognitive thinking by requiring students to sift through extensive information from the Web until they can construct an understanding that not only connects to their schema, but also builds new knowledge .

a WebQuest is "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 video conferencing .
This tool allows learners to complete various tasks using other Cognitive tools (e.g. Inspiration, MS Word, PowerPoint, Access, Excel, and Publisher).

The conclusion When students are motivated they not only put in more effort, but their minds are more alert and ready to make connections. Webquests use several strategies to increase student motivation. First, Webquests use a central question that honestly needs answering.
The second feature of Webquests that increase student motivation is that students are given real resources to work with.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Website Evaluation

This website is about learning English as a second language. The author of this website is Kenneth Beare. Kenneth has taught general English and English for Specific Purposes in Germany, New York, and Italy. He has developed numerous multi-media ESL courses for clients in Italy, England, Canada and the USA.  he also knows what it means to learn a new language in order to adjust to a different culture.
His education:
Kenneth obtained degrees in the USA and Germany. He also received his Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) diploma from Trinity College in London.
The accuracy of this website is excellent. The Facts are correct. No spelling or grammatical errors. The objectivity of this site is very good. The author present a limited perspective on the topics. The language he used is simple and easy to understand. His arguments based on reasons not on his emotions. The links which are lead to other websites are easy to read, they work  and support the author’s claims. The graphics are good. the page and graphics load quickly. The graphics fit the theme and purpose of the page. The text size and the style  are excellent. The colors are clear and appropriate for the purpose of this website. The only negative point which we found that: the homepage has a long list and themes and so many related notes and blogs on the right side  of the page that could distract the reader and confuse him . Its really good and useful website to use it with the students. It will help them to learn or improve their English language.

This site is for kids who are learning English as a foreign or second language. its logo is “the place for fun learning “. It provide good learning on a fun way that attracts young learners and keep them interested . There is a small introduction that explain  and clarify each thing the site provides. It offers to the learners on line activities and hundreds of printable  worksheets. It also has games, quizzes, songs and resources for parents and teachers. The interface and design are wonderful for kids, it has nice images and icons that fits the themes.The text  is well organized ,clear and easy to read . The background color is light and comfortable to the sight so every thing is clear and easy to see and read . The links are well organized in the links area, easy to found  and work correctly. Based on all of the above, we think that this website will be a good use for young students that expose them to English with the help and guide of their teacher, because it seems a little difficult for children to use it by their own.