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s upporting o ral n arrative d evelopment of kindergarten e nglish l anguage l earners u sing m ultimedia storybooks. Sha Yang Learning, Design & Technology College of Education Purdue University Minchi Kim Associate professor in Learning, Design & Technology

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Sha Yang Learning, Design & Technology College of Education Purdue University

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supporting oral narrative development of kindergarten englishlanguage learners using multimedia storybooks

Sha Yang

Learning, Design & Technology

College of Education

Purdue University

Minchi Kim

Associate professor in Learning, Design & Technology

College of Education

Purdue University

research questions

  • How could teachers of English as a Second Language use multimedia storybooks to foster oral narrative development of kindergarten English language learners (ELLs)?

rationale for this paper

  • The National Literacy Panel on Language Minority Children and Youth has identified English oral proficiency as a critical area for language-minority children (August & Shanahan, 2006).

  • Narrative ability facilitates oral language skills and precedes literacy for bilingual students (August & Shannahan, 2006; Oller & Pearson, 2002; Stadler& Ward, 2005).

  • In previous studies, children viewed multimedia storybooks alone without any support or interaction with adults in the form of questions or comments.

  • Lack of research on how teachers could use multimedia storybooks to support oral narrative development of ELLs.

target population

  • Bilingual children can make significant progress in oral English from kindergarten to 1st grade (Uccelli & Páez, 2007).

  • Kindergarten ELLs’ oral English proficiency predicts their later English reading achievement (Kieffer, 2008).

what is multimedia storybook

  • Multimedia storybooks are electronic storybooks that “present children’s literature with text and illustrations similar to a traditional text and also include elements designed to enhance the reading experience for beginning readers” (Lefever-Davis & Pearman, 2005, p. 446).

  • Examples: Just Grandma and Me, Ugly Duckling, Alice in Wonderland, The Princess and the Pea, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

The pictures are retrieved from and respectively.

why use multimedia storybooks for ells

  • Visual support

  • Verbal and nonverbal information conveyed simultaneously

  • Repeated encounters

  • Research has shown that both ELLs and non-ELLs benefit from viewing multimedia storybooks in emergent literacy development.

narrative skills

  • Narrative is “one method of recapitulating past experience by matching a verbal sequence of clauses to the sequence of events which (it is inferred) actually occurred” (Labov, 1972, pp. 359-360).

  • Key dimensions of narrative skills include (Level & Sénéchal, 2011; Schneider, Dubé, & Hayward, 2005; Uchikoshi, 2005):

  • story structure

  • contextual knowledge

  • cohesion knowledge

  • evaluation

  • storybook language

  • syntactic complexity

theoretical framework

Plass and Jones’ (2005) model of second-language acquisition with multimedia

  • Apperception: select some verbal information and visual tools from all the material to draw learners’ attention and facilitate their comprehension of the whole material.

  • Comprehension: the processes of organizing words and images into verbal and visual models.

  • Intake: the integration of the verbal and visual models with multimedia-supported approaches.

  • Comprehensible output: use of language in meaningful contexts.

dialogic reading

  • A reading strategy that involvesdialogues between an adult and a child during book reading and prepares a child to be a story teller.

  • Main techniques

  • Using elaborative “wh-” and open-ended questions

  • Repeating child’s good answers

  • Modifying child’s utterances

  • Expanding his/her incomplete responses


  • Multimedia storybooks

  • Story vocabulary words

  • Elaborative questions

technology-supported esl class

  • Apperception

    The teacher introduces vocabulary words with cards.

  • Comprehension

    The teacher reinforces vocabulary learning through raising

    questions using the images in the multimedia storybook.

  • Intake and comprehensible output

    The teacher uses dialogic reading techniques to raise elaborative

    questions about the story plot and respond to each child’s answers.

future research

  • What modifications are needed to the proposed approach.

  • How to modify this approach for regular kindergarten program where both ELLs and non-ELLs will benefit from.

  • How to provide both native language support and English support in developing ELLs’ oral narrative ability.

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