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Learning more about the TOEFL and IELTS: a WebQuest for EFL learners

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Teacher Page


Description of the learners

The present WebQuest is intended for an EFL English class, consisting of 20-30 intermediate university students. They are expected to have only a very basic understanding of using computers and the Net, due to limited practice in the first few class sessions.


Content objectives

n      Gathering information about the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

n      Gathering information about IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

n      Comparing the TOEFL and IELTS

n      Comparing the paper-and-pencil and computerized versions


Computer literacy objectives

n      Improving Net navigation skills, such as doing a search; opening new windows using right-click; and using the back/forward buttons

n      Learning how to make a report using Microsoft Word, and utilizing such options as font type and size, undo, redo, save, open, paragraphing, page set up, italics, bolding, inserting page numbers, and spell/grammar checking


Language objectives

n      Demonstrating skimming and scanning skills by finding the answers to questions on the Net

n      Improving writing skills such as grammar, organization, and coherence through the writing of a report and/or a letter using MS-Word.


Cultural/social objectives

n      Learning to work collaboratively rather than competitively

n      Becoming familiar with internationally accepted test-taking systems


Academic objectives

n      Learning how to evaluate material on the Web (i.e. critical thinking)

n      Learning how to take notes and make a report in the form of a persuasive essay, and possibly a persuasive letter (in follow-up activities)

n      Learning how to cite electronic sources

n      Learning to compare/contrast

n      Improving research skills


Pre-computer activities


The instructor needs to be competent in:

n      Navigating the Web

n      Using MS-Word


In the sessions preceding the WebQuest, preferably the learners should already have been taught at least the following computer skills:

n      Basic Windows navigation skills, such as turning the computer on/off, clicking the mouse, double-clicking, right-clicking, minimizing/maximizing/closing windows, scrolling, and dragging.       

n      Basic Net navigation skills, such as opening a browser, using the back/forward buttons, opening a new window using right-click, and doing a simple search.

n      A basic understanding of word processors such as MS-Word, such as what purposes they are used for.  It would be helpful if they were also made familiar with the basics of Word, such as changing font type and size, undo and redo, save, open, italics, bolding, paragraphing, page set up, inserting page numbers, and spell/grammar checking.


Before embarking on the quest, the learners need to:

n      Discuss the TOEFL and IELTS using Brainstorm Sheet 1

n      Look at sample TOEFL and IELTS questions, provided by the instructor

n      Discuss the two tests further, using Brainstorm Sheet 2


Required and recommended equipment/materials/media/resources:


     Computers (at least one per group is required, unless computer access may be rotated)

     Access to the Internet (a browser and search engine will be required for each computer)

     Microsoft Office Word program (required, preferably one copy for each computer)

     Shockwave Player (recommended)

     Printer (recommended)

     Sample TOEFL and IELTS questions (required)

     Further “hard” materials related to the TOEFL and IELTS, such as preparation books, software, cassettes, etc. (recommended)

     Hard copies of all the printable materials of the course, if printer will not be available during class hours (strongly recommended)



Useful websites provided in WebQuest:


How to use a search engine:


Some sites related to the TOEFL test:


Some sites related to the IELTS test:!


Sites related to both the TOEFL and the IELTS:


Useful links for writing persuasive essays:


Tutorials for using Word:


Useful websites not provided in the WebQuest, since the students are expected to do a search to find these themselves:


Home pages for the TOEFL and IELTS language proficiency test websites:


Click here to go to the Introduction

GSL520: Computer-Assisted Language Learning

Instructor: Christine Bauer-Ramazani

Saint Michael's College