Task-based second language acquisition with the help of
  Internet resources


February 2007 |

October 2006 |

April 2006 |

Action Plan |

Calendar |


February 2007: Final meeting, Graz

The LQuest team had its final meeting at Graz on 23 and 24 February 2007.

The focus of this meeting was on defining the activities needed to finalise the project. Issues discussed included making an inventory of the materials produced for the central workshop and analysing how these could be made available to a wider audience. In this respect, the team examined the implications in terms of further editing and formatting of the materials when used in the various instruments available for dissemination such as the ECML website, the LQuest Community site at www.lquest.net, flyers & brochures.

The team also reflected on what further additions would be needed to enable the current set of materials to function as support materials for local training sessions by workshop participants or other parties.

Two days of intensive work also resulted in the specification of new functionality for the LQuest website (e.g. an online webquest editor and a database structure for storing and locating languagequests) and updates and production of content for website components such as the FAQ-section.

Furthermore, as also suggested by the ECML staff, ideas were exchanged on an LQuest follow-up project to be defined for the 3rd medium-term programme.

After the rounding up of some administrative aspects, the team self-evaluation session led to very positive conclusions about results, products and the collaborative process. It was felt that a well-balanced result has been realised thanks to a good mix of competencies in the team (in-service training experience, knowledge of SLA theory, ICT expertise and project coordination skills). The workshop evaluation results were seen as a most convincing justification of this conclusion.

LQuest team (Graz)

October 2006: Launch of the LanguageQuest Network

This is to announce the launch of the LanguageQuest Network , an initiative of the coordinators and participants of the 2006 LQuest Workshop which was organised by the European Centre for Modern Languages in Graz in April 2006. The workshop aimed to familiarise participants from ECML member states with design principles to optimise the effectiveness of the use of WebQuests in Language Education. One of LanguageQuest Project results presented at the workshop was the online version of the LanguageQuest Assessment Tool.

Membership of the LanguageQuest Network is open. Among other services this site allows the participants to:

  • discuss quality issues related to Webquests for language learning
  • notify colleagues of any local publication of LanguageQuests and invite assessments
  • develop a repository with practitioners' reports and links to relevant research
It will also provide members with a plug-and-play communication platform to support local courses and national dissemination activities.

We are looking forward to welcoming you soon as a member of the LanguageQuest Network!

Best Regards,
On behalf of the team,

Oliver Fischer& Ton Koenraad,

LanguageQuest Network: http://www.lquest.net
LanguageQuest Assessment Tool: http://www.kennisnet.nl/cpb/thema/webquest/talenquest/meetlat/index.php?lang=en
LQuest Workshop: http://www.ecml.at/mtp2/LQuest/html/LQuest_E_news.htm

April 2006
: 4-Day LQuest workshop

Oliver's pictures are available here.

Twenty-three participants from 21 countries attended the LanguageQuest workshop in Graz. The main objectives were to introduce the LQuest concept and develop a common frame of reference of the underpinnings based on Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theoretical concepts. As the workshop also aimed to develop practical skills and competencies in the area of assessment and production of educational materials the schedule predominantly involved hands-on activities and opportunities for small group discussion and collaborative learning. Participants were trained in the use of the LanguageQuest Assessment Tool with the help of which the potential for SLA of a particular WebQuest can be assessed.

Furthermore participants were challenged to apply their understanding of the principles and related features that contribute to the instructional effectiveness for language learning by suggesting improvements for a number of the quests that they had assessed.
This sequence from assessing to improving existing materials then led to the actual creation of a LanguageQuest product by nine teams after participants had been briefed on the availability of and differences between a number of templates. The resulting products were then evaluated with the help of a peer feedback procedure.

On the final day special interest group sessions were organised on a variety of themes such as the opportunities and constraints of the LQuest concept for young learners and beginners, technical aspects and issues related to student evaluation and the development of learning strategies and linguistic accuracy.

The afternoon was dedicated to the development of individual plans for national dissemination activities. The participants shared the intention to keep in touch and attempt to develop a community of practice by interesting other language professionals in their respective countries. The LQuest team committed itself to provide a web platform to support this initiative. Next to offering communication facilities the ambition is to provide possibilities for hosting, online editing and collaborative development of LQuests and to support the assessment process of newly developed products.

The evaluation results showed that participants were very positive about the quality of the workshop. Many of them indicated that they had learned a lot and had enjoyed the atmosphere in the group.

The detailed report is available under Materials.

Preparatory meeting for LQuest workshop 16-18 June

The LQuest project team had its first face-to-face meeting in Graz on June 16-18. The main objectives were to get to know the project team partners (better), share a common frame of reference on the contents of the LQuest Workshop and follow-up activities and detail the agenda for the 2006 workshop.

The coordinator also used the opportunity to contribute to an event organised by the Austrian Association for the ECML (Verein EFSZ in Österreich) on June 16 within its "CONTEXT" series, entitled 'Using New Technologies in Language Teaching'. The main principles and concepts relevant for the LQuest workshop were presented and a paper 'The ECML Workshop 'LanguageQuest': Internationalising the NL Project 'TalenQuest'' was distributed.

Friday and Saturday were used by the team to specify and plan all the necessary activities and output for the 4-day workshop. Activities included trialling a planned WebQuest evaluation activity to finalise the procedures and test the assessment instrument involved.

To support the team in planning the logistics of the workshop (groupwork, distribution of additional computers etc) the team was introduced to the facilities available at the ECML. Special attention was paid to the Centre's web facilities: the LQuest project site plays a central role in the team's dissemination strategy as it will be used to support a European community of users and authors of LanguageQuests.

Finally, after having worked out the programme in detail and refined the participants' profile, the concept versions of the project documents (workshop description, flyer etc) were edited for formal publication by the ECML.