La Rivista per l'insegnamento e l'apprendimento delle lingue

WebQuest: task-based learning in a digital environment

Gé Stoks

Il cosiddetto WebQuest può fornire a docenti e studenti delle scuole medie e medie superiori un nuovo impulso per l’uso di approcci all’insegnamento delle lingue che propongono lo svolgimento di compiti mirati (task-based) o l’elaborazione di tematiche specifiche (content-based). Il WebQuest è uno strumento che crea buone occasioni di apprendimento basato su internet mettendo a disposizione di studenti e docenti materiale autentico, tematiche interessanti e opportunità di comunicazione reale nella lingua d’arrivo. Il WebQuest ha il potenziale per contribuire al rinnovamento dell’insegnamento delle lingue e creare le condizioni per una fruizione didattica e pedagogica di internet veramente significativa. (Red.)

Content and task-based approaches to language learning and teaching might get a new impulse when teachers and students in secondary schools use so-called WebQuests. WebQuests offer good internet-based language learning opportunities because they provide learners with exposure to authentic material, meaningful content and possibilities for real communication in the target language. WebQuests may innovate language teaching and provide a basis for a sound pedagogical use of the internet.

Internet and language teaching and learning
The internet has been around for about a decade now and schools are gradually getting connected to the web. Computers and computer labs have, until now, largely failed to really innovate language learning and teaching. It is true that an increasing number of teachers have discovered the internet as a resource for downloading materials and many have an email address. Many materials, though, are used in a very traditional way. There are texts (written or audio or video-enhanced) with questions. The internet abounds with websites with grammar and vocabulary activities, fill-in-the-gap, true-false and multiple choice exercises that are of questionable value for language learning. Programs that can be used to create exercises such as half-baked hot potatoes (software made available by the university of Victoria in the United States ( seem to be very popular. Although some of these materials may be useful, they do not exploit the full potential of the internet for language learning.
More and more schools now finally have the possibilities to use the computers with (fast) internet access. Moreover, many students have internet access at home. However, many language teachers are at a loss what to do now that they have the technological possibilities. [...]

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