DEVELOPMENT OF MEDIA LITERACY OF APPLICANTS FOR AGRONOMIC SPECIALITIES BY THE MEANS OF JOURNALISTIC WEBQUESTS
Keywords:Agronomy students, English as a foreign language (EFL), media file, media literacy, media education, WebQuest types, Journalistic Task WebQuest
The article is dedicated to a topical issue of developing media literacy in non-language university students as a component of teaching them English as a foreign language. The notions of media, mass media, media education, its aim, tasks and media literacy as its result, WebQuest and Journalistic Task WebQuest are commented upon. Media are understood as the modern channels of communication including physical and online newspapers and magazines, television, radio, telephone, the Internet, fax and billboards. Media education is interpreted as teaching the theory and practical skills of acquiring and applying mass media as a part of pedagogical theory and practice. It is aimed at developing students' ability to use mass communication effectively in the society. The tasks of media education relate to the critical analysis of information, creating media texts; evaluating their sources, as well as their political, social, commercial, cultural interests and context; interpreting media texts and values spread by them; selecting appropriate media to create and disseminate media texts; accessing necessary media as a means of obtaining and transferring information. Media literacy is viewed as the result of media education. Among its components are the ability to interpret and evaluate various documents by means of observation, reading, applying logical inferences to evaluate the reliability of arguments; the ability to effectively cooperate with various partners and to make ideas clear for others; the ability to apply both previous abilities in using different types of media. The term of "WebQuest" is understood as "an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the web". The Journalistic Task WebQuest presupposes the critical evaluation of the reliability of information and using it to answer questions, present events or problems.
On the basis of the theoretical analysis of scientific literary sources and samples the authors suggest a Journalistic Task WebQuest designed for the first (Bachelor's) level students of 201 "Agronomy" specialty and substantiate its expedience.
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