EFL College Students
Using WebQuest to Enhance Saudi EFL College Students’ Vocabulary Development.
Webquest was founded by Bernie Dodge and Tom March in 1995 with a view to develop the basic understanding of words and vocabulary by using the web. It was first introduced to coordinate the World Wide Web into classrooms.
Powerful utilization of ICT helps learners to advancement quicker in learning English. Despite this, EFL teachers might find it difficult to design a web based system which promotes language learning skill. A well-structured web based activity like WebQuest provides the instructors with a pre-defined activity, which can be adapted to suit the learning objectives of the students. The WebQuest refers to activities, using Internet resources, which encourage students to use higher order thinking skills to solve problems.
WebQuest improves the learners’ computer and information skills, in addition to the language literacy development. While learners searching the web, they need to read, select information, evaluate the content and collect the materials to construct meaning. Despite the importance of WebQuest to support learning, the impact of WebQuest to enhance language skills is little researched through empirical study. The study focuses on examining the use of WeQuest to enhance Saudi EFL College Students’ Vocabulary Development.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of WebQuest activities to enhance Saudi EFL college students’ vocabulary development. While face-to-face interaction is the best way to promote language development, teachers can expand opportunities to develop vocabulary using online resources. One of the most common activities performed by the students on the Internet is the search for information, often with the help of search engines like Google and Yahoo. However, these investigations (tasks) are difficult activities that take a long time and the quest becomes frustrating if the objectives are not clearly reflected and explained in the beginning. WebQuests are structured and guided to avoid these barriers by providing students with a well-defined task. WebQuest that includes a list of sites alredy selected for the learners will help them to concentrate on the recommended activities. Instead of wasting hours searching for information, students are appropriated to interpret and exploit the specific information that the teacher assigns to them (Murray McPherson 2004).
Searching the Web is easy and simple to apply, as it is easy to perform and allows both novice and Internet experts to participate in gaining knowledge. A web search encourages collaboration, discussion, and easy integration of learning into the school curriculum. In WebQuests, the teacher suggests a topic for exploration and targets some Web sites where students go to find the needed information (Flohr 2008). As teachers are familiar with the web and search engines, and learn to develop strategies to optimize knowledge through communication, information search,
is passed to students to find solutions. In the final state of complete autonomy, students can suggest topics of interest to the teacher to choose what is most suitable for personal and group learning. In WebQuest, students are organized into groups, assigned roles and have to carry out tasks in time. This is not just a new way for teachers to teach well but also a new way for students to learn.
The current globalization of economy and the expansion in global correspondence in different fields have brought about more interest for English as a foreign language (EFL). English language teachers are always looking for new approaches to engage their students in inquiry activities. One such an approach, is to have students search out data around a theme utilizing Web-based activities. One such asset, WebQuest, has ended up common in English Language Teaching yet little research has been directed to show its advantages in vocabulary guideline. The present study assumes that the WebQuests can be designed in a way that helps Saudi EFL students to have a direct contact with native speakers through a variety of language activities. It is hoped that these activities would enhance the students’ knowledge of English vocabulary and lead to more successful language learning.
Questions of the Study
- What is the importance of WebQuest for EFL students?
- What are the major vocabulary difficulties encountered by Saudi EFL students
- What is the effect of using WeQuest on the Saudi EFL student’s vocabulary skills?
Rationale of the Study
This study is carried out to have an insight into the WebQuest teaching strategies, which is one of the significant learning methods. This research will facilitate the learning of several ways to practice cooperative learning; one of them is vocabulary acquisition through the use of Internet and WebQuest. WebQuest motivate students to work; transform information and understand it.
Definition of Terms
WebQuest: Bernie Dodge (1997) defined WebQuest as “an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that the learners interact with comes from resources on the Internet, optionally supplemented with video conferencing.”
EFL learning: English as a foreign language is a traditional term for the use or study of the English language by non-native speakers in countries where English is generally not a local medium of communication.
Information and communication technology (ICT): ICT alludes to innovations that give access to data through information transfer. It is like Information Technology (IT), yet concentrates principally on correspondence advances. This incorporates the Internet, remote systems, phones, and other correspondence mediums.
Sample of the study
The sample of this study will be seventy female college students. Semi structured interviews will be carried out with ten of them and pre and post test questionnaire will be administered to the rest (60 students), which means, this research will use a convenience sampling. Convenience sampling is very common and more prominent than other kind of sampling technique under probability sampling. Convenience sampling is when researchers choose the sample they have access to and is easiest to obtain response. The sample collection process is continued until the required sample size has been reached.
Data collection procedures
This research will use a mixed method approach that consists of the qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. It will use both the primary, as well as secondary sources. Qualitative data will be gathered through
secondary data accumulation, which will base on well acknowledged researches and primary data will be gathered through interviews of both the students, as well as the teachers. The following tools will be prepared:
- Semi-structured interviews with the participants to explore the difficulties with English words experienced by the students. (The result of their analysis would be the basis for designing the (WebQuest)
- The design of many WebQuest tasks activities aimed to vocabulary development
- A pre-post test that measures students’ vocabulary growth.
After obtaining responses to the questionnaire, the primary data will be coded and analyzed and interpreted. Eeach response will be assigned a code, which will then be interpreted once the interview is completed. The main source of data analysis will be the recorded spoken language derived from the interview; nevertheless, reflection about the interview, the settings and capturing of the non-verbal communication expressed by the member of the groups will add a valuable dimension to the construction and analysis of data. Whereas; for the pre and post test data, statistical software SPSS will be used to calculate regression.