Friday, January 11, 2013

The Effects of the WebQuest Writing Instruction Program on EFL Learners' Writing Performance, Writing Apprehension, and Perception

RRR Unit 4: The Effects of the WebQuest Writing Instruction
Program on EFL Learners' Writing Performance,
Writing Apprehension, and Perception

Tun-Whei Isabel Chuo

In this paper , the author discussed the effects of the webquests writing instruction (WQWI) program on EFL learners’ writing performance, writing apprehension and perception.
  In order to do so , she designed her study based on two major purposes. First, to address the direct effect of the WQWI program on students’ writing performance and apprehension over writing. Second , to investigate students’ perception of web-resources integrated learning as experienced in WQWI and whether such a perception correlated with students improved writing performance and reduced writing apprehension .Some hypotheses were generated based upon these two main purposes.
     The sample of the study consisted of two groups. Control group received traditional writing instruction in a traditional classroom whereas the experimental group received WQWI. Results have shown that the WQWI class improved their writing performance more than those in the traditional classroom.
      Findings suggested that integrating web resources into EFL writing instruction using the webquests model was effective for enhancing students’ writing performance and provided a positive learning experience. Krashan(1985) claims that “the best way to learn to write is to obtain rich and comprehensive reading input”. Consequently, improvement in writing gained through WQWI was due to exposure to rich reading texts.


    I might agree with the author that exposing learners to a wide variety of texts help to expand learners vocabulary and knowledge on different topics. Searching the web itself help learners to come a cross different styles of writing . Those webquests help them improve their reading skill and subskills such as skimming and scanning. They are also exposed to authentic reading materials which might face in real life situations. These types of materials motivate learners and improve their critical thinking skills. In addition, webquests usually follow certain stages which are introduction , task, process , organization  and conclusion. These stages help learners organize their own written work too. On the other hand, using WQWI might not be for learners who lack knowledge to use webquests or handle web search appropriately. Moreover, language provided in the written texts found in the web might be inappropriate or far above the learners’ level unless it is instructed by the teacher. Group activity and interaction through virtual classroom is not the same as if the learners are interacting and negotiating with each other face to face in a traditional classroom. Furthermore, coming across unknown vocabulary might hinder learning and cause tension and frustration to the learners especially if they are to be exposed for a limited time. So, availability of the teacher in the traditional classroom help learners feel comfortable and secure because they have an immediate source of information who can direct their learning. Another drawback that learners might become over dependent on such web and computer programs , so whenever they are asked to produce any piece of writing without being provided with these tools , they might find it very difficult to depend on their own or even being aware of the kind of spelling mistakes or any other mistakes corrected by the program.
     On the whole, the WQWI has both coincides with all its advantages and disadvantages like any other mean of media ,so we should be careful when we apply them in the teaching learning situations.   

Badriya Al Mamari

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