Friday, 20 February 2015

WEBQUESTS IN CLIL CLASSROOMS



A Webquest is an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the web. The model was developed by Bernie Dodge at San Diego State University in February, 1995. Since then,  thousands of teachers have embraced WebQuests as a way to make good use of the internet while engaging their students in the kinds of thinking that the 21st century requires.  

Webquests promote high-level thinking, develop problem-solving skills, and provide an avenue for seamlessly integrating technology into the curriculum.

When coming to CLIL contexts, I would say that they add the following benefits:

-  They are student-centered and there is true active learning  involved. 


- The teacher becomes a mere facilitator. (He/she will check that the resources and links provided are working before students start carrying out the tasks and will monitor the process. A good webquest includes teacher's notes to know what his/her role should be)

- They provide really meaningful contexts in which students are in contact with everyday language settings that are applicable to their lives.

- Interpersonal skills become essential throughout the process since the learning activities are based on projects and research development roles.

- Cooperative learning is a major characteristic of task-based projects.

- Culture is a core area and the other 3 Cs (content, communication and cognition)  are also crucial elements in good webquests.

Our next seminar on March 17th will focus on how to choose adequate proposals for our CLIL contexts from the many available sites for teachers. 

Right now I would just like to show you a couple of good examples: the first one I have chosen is a webquest on cloning which can be used in Science but also in Ethics. You can find it here.

During this Webquest, students will be exposed to interactive expository texts that describe the basics of cloning, the history of cloning and the controversial applications of cloning. Students will simulate the procedure of laboratory cloning and they will also formulate an opinion on the ethics of cloning endangered/extinct species. Thus, a wonderful extension for this Webquest could be a classroom discussion/debate on the ethics of cloning endangered/extinct species

My second example deals with a very interesting topic: what really ended World War II, which could be useful for History teachers. This is the link to it.

This is an introductory post to the topic but I would like to finish by letting you know that next seminar session I will present lots of examples for your content areas and I will also suggest how to  identify really  good webquests. 

Have a look at the following rubric so that you can start your own search for valid webquests  if you wish. 

Last but not least, I am embedding a prezzi presentation by two professors that provides a very clear  introduction to the  topic:



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