WebQuests for Academic Writing - ESL/EFL

Start Here: 

Bernie Dodge's WebQuest page: http://webquest.org/ has many Useful Resources (tab on left), including a search engine, help videos, etc.

What is a WebQuest? - a short and sweet explanation

My page, WebQuests: Using authentic Content with ESOL Support, has additional resources for language support for WebQuests originally written for native speakers.

Examples: Lots of WebQuests for ESL/EFL

Most of these ESL/EFL WebQuests were created during the 2007 Electronic Village Online session, Creating Webquests, moderated by Paula Emmert.
These may be of varying quality, but they give you a good idea of the range that can be achieved. Some are not ESL/EFL. Where URLs were missing, I have substituted others.

Academic/College/Adult Learners

Getting Hitched: Exploring Wedding Customs in other Cultures
a WebQuest for upper intermediate high school ESL students, by Chris Dussault / Emmanuel Batungwanayo

American College Tour
a WebQuest for advanced EFL students by Koko Hirano & Yasuko Unno

Discovering Vermont
A WebQuest for Intermediate EFL/ESL Students at Saint Michael's College (VT), by Amanda Gustafson & Hussein Al-Ashwal

Using the Internet to Teach Writing to English Language Learners
A WebQuest for Teachers of ESOL developed for students in an MEd in Second Language Education by Maryanne Burgos

Learning more about the TOEFL and IELTS
 A WebQuest for EFL learners preparing to enter university in an English-speaking country. I made this WebQuest two years ago for Christine Bauer-Ramazani's online CALL class (by Seyyedeh Susan Marandi)

The Perfect Society
A WebQuest by Nellie Muller based on The Giver: A Novel by Lois Lowry

Choosing a Book to Read for Pleasure and Fluency
Some students like to read, and some do not. On this quest students help four students shop for a book based on their personal interest, needs, and time. Finally, students write their own reader profile and choose the book that is right for them. By Sue Peterson, Baruch College

Indian Independence
Creating an awareness of Indian Freedom Struggle, the contributions made by great leaders and the heritage among young learners. By Revathy Viswanathan, ICFAI National College.

The Death Penalty
This is a WebQuest that takes students through their initiial research on the topic for their final research paper. By Allan Ocleasa, Cebu Normal University.

Will the real Thomas Merton please stand up?
A WebQuest for college students reading Merton's writings. Academic/college students. By Nancy McKeand, St. Joseph Seminary College.

Secondary Students/Young Learners/Very Young Learners

And if the Aztecs had prevailed?
An alternate history WebQuest by JoAnn Miller

Fact or Fiction: Learning to Evaluate Websites
A WebQuest for 9th Grade, by Nicole Chalmers & Jeff Wallis

Let's Read Japanese Fairy Tales
A WebQuest for young intermediate ESL learners (grades 3-4), by Hiroko Kunimatsu / Stacy Wells

Vermont Housing for International Students
A WebQuest for Intermediate Level International Students at the college level, by Rattiya (Jane) Panichkul and Hung-che (Ben) Chen

Vermont's Best Season
A WebQuest for Intermediate Level IEP Students, by Jenn Holland & Lizzy Seefeldt

Crime Prevention WebQuest
for advanced students by JoAnn Miller

Run For Your Health
A WebQuest on healthy living  by Nellie Muller

Saving the Gorillas
A WebQuest on QuestGarden by JoAnn Miller
That's a Possibility
A UFO WebQuest for advanced students by JoAnn Miller

The Last Spin
A WebQuest by Nellie Muller on teenage street gangs, based on The Last Spin by Evan Hunter

WebQuest on Shakespeare - Teaching Video
This is a video (with closed captioning) of a teacher using a WebQuest in a 5th grade class to introduce Shakespeare and certain literary concepts. Written and voice-over support describing what the teacher does, and filmed in a real class--not ESL/EFL, however. (You will need to download a free Real Player plug-in, if you don't have one already.) by Teri Martin.

Why did they do that?
A WebQuest on flags and their origins for 8th graders by Nellie Deutsch, Liz lutz-Tah, Jim Nuyen, Kristie Radford, and Robin Wiltbank

New York, New York: A Virtual Vacation
A WebQuest for intermediate students by JoAnn Miller

Adolescents and the Internet
An introduction to the Internet for secondary students by Maria Adelina Maia, Escola Secundaria da Trofa.

Ecological Footprint WebQuest
Our impact on the Earth is greater than we think. Showing our students this reality and help them to think of ways to reduce this impact is the ultimate goal of this WebQuest. For Students grades 6-12. Developed by Vicky Saumell, Instituto San Francisco de Asis

Party Planning
The holidays and celebrations of the United States understood through planning a community activity. by Rimi Lee, UPenn, and Anastasia Pantelidis, UPenn.

Relational Databases: Modeling Information
Students analyse information from some real examples in the Internet, understand how to model information by being oriented to specific sites and, after that, design a relational database for a particular system. Grades 9-12. By Maria Maia, Escola Secundaria da Trofa.

Death Penalty in the United States
Each team of middle school students will attempt to convince politicians to support or oppose the death penalty. By Anthony gibson, Frisbie Middle School.

What are the best eating habits to be healthy? For secondary students. By Zouita Abdesalam, Mohamed V Lâayoune, Morocco

--> For more WebQuests for secondary students in several foreign/other languages, try the EdGate World Language Center page, Secondary WebQuests by Language.

--> For more content-based WebQuests for young learners, google "science WebQuests for kids"

Queries and Replies from the Webheads

A discussion about WebQuest resources on the Webheads' list. Many links were dead or moved, so here is an update, 14 April 2011)

Web addresses mentioned in replies:
(click on the image to read more about the site within this Webpage)


The new WebQuest Matrix (check in English Language Arts/Adults in the Top or New matrix): http://webquest.org/


A list of many WebQuests and WEbQeust resources made in the UK for ESL learners:
New location at Excellence Gateway (search result for "WebQuest" (formerly www.aclearn.net). 
See especially, Introduction to WebQuests

Nellie Deutsch's catalog in her English Projects: Integrating WebQuests, has links to WebQuests listed by age group.
 [Some of these may be dead links, as I haven't had a chance to check them all.]

Teresa Almeida d'Eça's Webheads Index. Check presentations, papers, and workshops (sidebar).
Elizabeth Hanson-Smith's Academic Writing Teachers' YG offers more resources for WebQuests and composition.

heron A grammar WebQuest:

How to Create Web-based Culture Capsules by Michael Krauss (now an archived "legacy" page)

Bee Dieu's The Copacabana Restaurant FoodQuest for Intermediate-Advanced EFL students.

The original query:

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 04:45:01 -0000
From: "Agus D. Priyanto" <agusdwi_priyanto@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Webquest for Academic Writing Skills

Thanks Vance,

I am trying design some. Could you share some WQs for academic
writing, especially for ESL? I got stuck with ideas of what (academic)
scenario I can create. Thanks



Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 07:19:38 -0300
From: "Barbara Dieu" <bwjdieu@terra.com.br>
Subject: Re: Re: Webquest for Academic Writing Skills


Bernie's new portal is at
There you will find quite a number of quests.
He has launched a new tool (which he launched at NECC) for creating
webquests which will be available as from September 1st.

You can also check templates for Webquests developed in the UK at:

[now at Excellence Gateway Resources]

and I believe Nellie Deutsch has also quite a number of them catalogued

Warm regards from Brazil,

Barbara Dieu

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 11:38:55 -0000
From: "Chrissan" <christina_ljunggren@yahoo.se>
Subject: Re: aclearn.net


There is a site http://www.esperanzaeterna.com/ where aclearn is
introduced but I can't seem to reach the actual website.

Anybody knows how?


Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 13:33:06 +0100
From: "Teresa Almeida d'Eca" <tmvaz@mail.telepac.pt>
Subject: Re: Webquest for Academic Writing Skills

Hi, Agus, and welcome!

Though I haven't updated my EFL Page in quite some time, you may find
something useful in it under WebQuests.


I will try to update it this summer.

Teresa (in Portugal)

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 11:11:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dr Elizabeth Hanson-Smith <ehansonsmi@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Webquest for Academic Writing Skills

Dear Agus--

Welcome to Webheads--I see your request has unearthed
some good resources. I copied this response to you
personally also, so you may get it twice.

I run a YG for academic writing--


You can be a moderator and add your students to use
any of the materials there.

Among the links in the folder Additional Fun, Exciting
Activities! are several Webquests that are ready to
use. One on grammar is

You can also go to the original WebQuest page and look
at the ESL/EFL WebQuests in the TOP and NEW matrices
for ADULTS at
(The WebQuest page doesn't seem organized very well,
but that's how it is.)

I think the Webpage Culture Capsules would also be
really appropriate, though they are not WebQuests, per
se. This link is also in the Additional Fun, Exciting
Activities! folder:

You can also join the teachers' group for Academic
Writing at

where currently I am doing a short course for EFL
academic writing instructors. The syllabus so far is
on the front page.


ate: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 22:58:37 -0300
From: "Barbara Dieu" <bwjdieu@terra.com.br>
Subject: Re: Webquest for Training Volunteers

Hello Dan,

Bernie Dodge's Webquest Matrix offers quite a number of webquests to
professional skills:

Some time ago I produced a foodquest for EFL/ESL (some parts are still
missing). My students enjoyed it and I have had echoes from people
using it
with catering groups who needed practice in English. It would need lots
re-structuring and complementing though.

Check out whether this is what you have in mind

Hope this helps.
Warm regards from Brazil,

Barbara Dieu


Return to Tools and Resources
Return to Computers for Education homepage

page updated  15 April 2011
copyright Dr Elizabeth Hanson-Smith