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What is a SPEAQ-quest?

  • the unique Quebec ESL WebQuest format SPEAQ is promoting.  

  • an invitation to submit and share SPEAQ-quests.


How do you create a SPEAQ-quest!

We show-case and are looking for two categories of ESL WebQuests, both taking into consideration the interest and language levels of the targeted students and considering the framework of the MELS programs (develop competencies,  be explicit about using strategies, language focus, etc.)




1)  An adapted first language WebQuest used with written permission of the original author(s).

2)  An original SPEAQ-quest that a teacher creates following the adapted SPEAQ-quest outline. 


Background: WebQuests


WebQuests are recognized as outstanding teaching and learning tools that incorporate a variety of recent, accepted and essential pedagogical elements including; inquiry-based learning, developing critical thinking, targeting students’ motivation through meaningful tasks, a cooperative, collaborative (sic constructivist) environment with guidance and support as well as the integration of  technologies.


Moreover, we often hear that integration of technologies is very difficult because of limited computer lab availability, or even an absence of availability. We also hope to demonstrate the possibilities of the WebQuest approach to teaching with a minimum of ICT resources or none at all in the classroom.



A WebQuest and consequently a SPEAQ-quest is developed with the following elements:

  • uAn introduction that sets the stage and provides some background information. 

  • uA task that is doable, interesting and elicits thinking. 

  • uA set of information sources needed to complete the task.

  • uA description of the process including cooperative roles.

  • uGuidance on how to organize the information acquired. (scaffolding)

  • uA conclusion that brings closure to the quest, reminds the learners about what they’ve learned, and perhaps encourages them to extend the experience into other domains. 

  • eEvaluation  integrated into the learning process

SPEAQ-quest elements:


SPEAQ-quests are value-added hybrids of WebQuests that include essential elements relative to the Quebec ESL context and in harmony with the current MELS programs.


Special considerations involve including links to the Broad Areas of Learning (BALs), the Cross-curricular competencies (CCC's), the ESL competencies, as well as essential knowledge (elementary) and relative content (secondary). See the Teacher's Guide Outline.


In effect, SPEAQ-quests

  • take into special consideration the language levels of the students and provide limited and/or appropriate language to the level of the students as well as language support throughout. 

  • integrate video, podcasts, image(s), etc. to enhance understanding and solicit interest, intrigue, cognitive conflict, etc.

  • call into play different facets (Competencies and Knowledge/Content) of language learning.

  • provide guidance on how to organize the information acquired including explicit strategies, language conventions as well as writing and production phases.

  • lead the students through a process including cooperative and collaborative roles to encourage oral interaction.

  • include elements of a Learning and Evaluation Situation. (MELS)

  • create a product that is fulfilling for the student and appropriate for the levels of language competencies the student is developing.


Questions arise:

    • What resources enhance ESL success?

    • Which strategies should the teacher assure are in place or put in place?

    • What conditions?

    • Which issues are most approachable for ESL students at appropriate levels?

    • Which rubrics or other evaluation guidelines are most applicable?

    • Are all 3 competencies called into play? And how?

    • Is the response process the end or the means?

    • What is the relation between Process and Product in ESL?

Suggestions abound:

Some interesting answer were available at which suggested :

Adapting Instruction for ESL Learners :
  There are a few key steps teachers can take to adapt regular curricular material for ESL learners.

  1. Identify and organize curricular outcomes required to achieve the desired level of proficiency.
  2. Identify the necessary skills and abilities present or required in the students to achieve these outcomes.
  3. When selecting reading materials, use highlighting or other strategies to draw each student's attention to particular elements of the text.
  4. Draw on interesting and relevant topics to encourage participation.
  5. Use resources identified within the program of studies wherever possible.
  6. Employ visual aids to reinforce the meaning of textual material whenever possible.
  7. Teach outlining strategies and provide glossaries.
  8. Simplify assignment objectives and expectations - use more formative assessment and less summative assessment strategies.
  9. Balance assignment content to place equal emphasis on reading and visual recognition.
  10. Embrace group work, pair work, and community learning strategies.
  11. Allow student input into assignment creation.
  12. Accommodate assignments in breadth and depth accordingly.
  13. Utilize a three-pronged approach to ESL instruction:
    • Develop content knowledge
    • Develop academic proficiency
    • Develop English language skills
  14. Employ reading strategies from the English Language Arts model:
    • RAFTS (Role, Audience, Form, Topic, Strong Verb)
    • PQ4R (Preview, Question, Read, Reflect, Recite, Review)
  • The WebQuest Design Process is a page that provides insight into the original WebQuest design process which is mirrored in a SPEAQ-quest with an accent on language learning

  • WebQuest Videos is a link that provides a sampling of videos that explain and demonstrate components of  WebQuests

  • WebQuest Design Patterns explain and demonstrate design patterns for specific learning goals in relation with types of content.

Visit SPEAQ-Quest Guides for more information on the components of a SPEAQ-quest




 SPEAQ-quests ~ Examples ~ Teachers' Guides ~ WebQuest Outline ~ WebQuest Resources ~ SPEAQ-quest wiki ~ SPEAQ-quest tools



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SPEAQ-quest site created and developed by Ron Mastine for SPEAQ