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Implementing and learning about webQuests in the context of English language teacher education: The experience at a Colombian University

Presentation INTED 2012

Juan Martinez

on 25 January 2013

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Transcript of Implementing and learning about webQuests in the context of English language teacher education: The experience at a Colombian University

Laura’s WebQuest intended to address the question, “How can English teachers reinforce the Lexical Competence with English students?” Laura found this question and the idea of lexical competence interesting because, “it is significant that English teachers offer a wide range of possibilities in order to reinforce the lexical competence in their students.” Liliana’s WebQuest
Liliana chose to address the question, “How can affective strategies facilitate meaningful learning in English students”. Her rationale for this question was that, “Emotions and attitudes can facilitate or make difficult the assimilation of new knowledge.” Raúl’s Story
Raúl became interested in the discursive competence. His question, “How can the discursive competence be used to help English students to become fluent writers” was the result of his concern about “important elements like cohesion, coherence and organization very useful to write, which, in my case, have been difficult to apply when I’m writing.” In the Colombian context, which is our main concern, we have not found any documented attempts (in major, indexed journals in the fields of education and ELT) to incorporate WebQuests in ELT classrooms in the existing literature. WebQuests in the Context of ELT WHAT ARE WEBQUESTS? Defined as “an interesting educational project that intends to combine content areas, technology, and the use of the Internet for a more comprehensive educational experience.” Sections of a WebQuest

Introduction: the introduction can feature a historical background, factual information about the theme, or other ideas that help students learn what they will be doing later.

Task: the task must describe what they will do and what the end product will look like.
Process: each of the steps of the process should combine individual work moments with group meetings to share and discuss their findings. Also, each step must include looking for information in carefully-selected websites. THE CONTEXT OF PRESERVICE ENGLISH EDUCATION AT UPB-MEDELLIN Inspired by recent changes in policy and its own, ongoing development process of formative concepts and practices, the Faculty of Education at UPB-Medellín, has set in place an integrated, flexible, and contextualized curriculum. Two main pillars support this curricular transformation process. First, the principle of inclusion, through which prospective teachers immerse themselves in the different levels and cycles of education. The second principle, formation, intentional in nature, introduces students to ideas about learnability and teachability of the main subject areas of this program (Spanish and English). The Faculty’s Pedagogical Model the program proposes a transformative approach, which ensures that the program is not built around one single theory. Instead, this notion helps build the program around the reconceptualization and recontextualization of concepts and practices. These two ideas open a space for instructors and students to think about their own proposals and engage in a transformational process of education. Second, the program provides an integrated pedagogical model, which opens a space for reflection about where the subjects stand today and where they should go. Communicative Competence III Communicative Competence III is a component ascribed to the “Teachability of Sciences, Knowledge, and Disciplines” nucleus. This component intends to improve both students’ learning strategies and their overall autonomy. It promotes the use of the linguistic, pragmatic, and socio-linguistic competences as a step towards discriminating the emic and etic aspects of learning. Why WebQuests? The first two authors (Raúl and Juan Diego) were assigned as instructors for Communicative Competence III in the first semester of 2011. Both authors share similar views of education and the goals for language instruction. They both believe that technology can help improve the quality of teacher preparation and they have both done work (individually and as research partners) in the field of technological mediation What the Students Learned Each student had the chance to reflect on the little and larger lessons they learned after completing their WebQuests and they also wrote about them in their drafts. Laura, for instance, explained that “This activity promotes individual and cooperative work, so it is vital that all of the group members know their abilities and flaws in order to accomplish an excellent job.” Liliana invited all teachers to “make use of tools like these because the technology, in this case the Internet, becomes a powerful instrument to encourage new and better learning processes in students.” Finally, Raúl argued that “learning how to use and design WebQuests provides our English components with new ways to make students think and be more creative.” INTED 2012


Virtual Presentation Raúl Alberto Mora
Juan Diego Martínez
Laura Mildrey Zapata-Monsalve
Liliana Alzate-Pérez
Raúl Gómez-Yepes

Medellín, COLOMBIA Sections of a WebQuest

Resources: it is customary to embed all the resources in the process. Resources are both necessary and important parts dealing with any kind of comprehension, interaction and production materials. Sections of a WebQuest

Evaluation: a rubric for the different features they intend to check in their students’ production for the task.

Conclusion: Feature follow-up information or further readings and websites student can check to learn more about the subject.
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