Teacher Education in CALL   

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Chapter 13. 
How WebQuests Send Technology to the Background: Scaffolding EFL Teacher Professional Development in CALL

Chin-chi Chao, National Chengchi University, Taiwan

This chapter reports on an effort to scaffold teacher learning by focusing participants’ attention on language instruction, while putting the technology where it should be—in the background. Two groups of EFL teachers in a CALL class were required to design and develop WebQuest projects for use with their learners. From the time they presented their initial ideas, the class often engaged in prolonged discussions on task design and ways to support learners. The discussion revealed the participants’ assumptions and misconception about CALL teaching. Based on an analysis of class discussion, WebQuest products, and reflection, it is found that teachers faced three challenges: (1) challenge to their existing assumptions and beliefs about language teaching, (2) challenge to their strategies for supporting student learning, and (3) challenge to their beliefs about technology use. Ways to scaffold teacher learning in such projects are discussed.

References available online

Benz, P. 2001. “WebQuests, a constructivist approach”. Available at http://www.ardecol.ac-grenoble.fr/english/tice/enwebquests.htm.

Blood, R. 2004. “Weblogs: a history and perspective”. Available at http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html.

Dudeney, G. 2003. “The quest for practical web usage.” TESL-EJ 6 (4). Available at http://tesl-ej.org/ej24/int.html.

Egbert, J., Paulus, T.M. and Nakamichi, Y. 2002. “The impact of CALL instruction on classroom computer use: A foundation for rethinking technology in teacher education”. Language Learning & Technology, 6 (3): 108-126. Available at http://llt.msu.edu/vol6num3/pdf/egbert.pdf.

Meskill, C., Mossop, J., DiAngelo, S., and Pasquale, R. 2002. “Expert and novice teachers talking technology: precepts, concepts, and misconcepts”. Language Learning & Technology, 6 (3): 46-57. Available at http://llt.msu.edu/vol6num3/pdf/meskill.pdf.

McKenzie, J. 2001. “How teachers learn technology best”. From Now On: The Educational Technology Journal, 10 (6). Available at http://www.fno.org/mar01/howlearn.html.

WebQuest Central. Available at http://webquest.sdsu.edu/.


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Updated December 8, 2006