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Digital Storytelling Encourages Chinese EF Learners’ Speaking Practice. Bei Zhang Luo Ming Shantou University, China Email: [email protected] [email protected] Introduction. What is a Digital Storytelling? --Using multi-media tech as a tool to …express oneself

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digital storytelling encourages chinese ef learners speaking practice
Digital Storytelling Encourages Chinese EF Learners’ Speaking Practice

Bei Zhang Luo Ming

Shantou University, China

Email: [email protected]

[email protected]

  • What is a Digital Storytelling?

--Using multi-media tech as a tool to …express oneself

- Digital Storytelling Association

a digital story
A digital story
  • A digital story is a 2-to-4 minute

digital video clip, told in first person narrative, recorded with teller’s own voice, illustrated with still images, text, recorded audio narration, video clips, and with an optional music track to add emotional tone.


the emerging theory
The Emerging Theory
  • “Digital Storytelling” is an emerging term, that arise from a grassroots movement, that uses digital tools to help people to tell their own stories.

Lambert 2002, Mellon, 1999,Meadows 2003, Caleb 2002

using digital storytelling as a tool of practicing a foreign language
Using Digital Storytelling as a tool of practicing a foreign language
  • The philosophy behind it is to enable non-techies (those without a technical background) to produce works that tell a story by using “moving” images and sound.
  • Typically, digital Storytelling is ordinary people’s practice of using computer-based tools to tell their own true stories.
literature review
Literature Review
  • Dana Atchley in 1993 set up a production workshop of digital story at the American Film Institute.
  • Joe Lambert developed it into a method of training promoted by Center for Digital Storytelling at San Francisco.
  • Producers who self-described as digital storytellers included Abbe Don, Brend Laurel, Berna Jean Porter, Dana Atchley, Pedro Meyer
research questions
Research Questions
  • Does digital storytelling really motivate students in learning a foreign language?
  • How can digital storytelling enhance students’ speaking competence?
features of spoken language
Features of spoken Language
  • Speaking happens in real time.
  • It is composed of utterances.
  • It is productive and fluent.
  • Planning and editing are limited by channels.

---Kathleen M. Bailey 2003

5 principles for teaching speaking
5 Principles for Teaching Speaking
  • Be aware of the different learning contexts.
  • Practice with both fluency and accuracy.
  • Provide opportunities for students to talk.
  • Plan speaking tasks that involve negotiation for meanings.
  • Design classroom activities that involve guidance and practice in both transactional and interactional speaking.

---Kathleen M. Bailey 2003

the purposes of using digital storytelling in a foreign language classroom
The purposes of using digital storytelling in a foreign language classroom
  • Improve students’ ability to communicate.
  • Enhance their multi-media literacy.
  • Develop their writing, listening and speaking. Capacity.
  • Generate creative and constructive self-expression.
research design
Research design
  • The project was designed specifically for intermediate students in EFL classroom setting in a provincial university—Shantou Univ. in China.
  • A digital story making and sharing project was embedded in the classroom teaching.
  • Assessments of digital storytelling and pre- and post- oral presentations were conducted.
  • A follow-up survey would provide feedbacks on this project.
  • 52 freshmen of intermediate level in English and have basic computer knowledge and skills.
  • About half of them have used computer for 3 or less than 3 years.
  • 2/3 of them have learnt English as a foreign language for 7 or more than 7 years.
  • Show demonstration digital stories.
  • Write a draft of one’s own story.
  • Modify drafts at least twice.
  • Record voices and make digital stories by subjects themselves.
  • Show your story and answer questions.
  • Do a survey.
  • Finally, compare the scores of oral tests.
demonstration digital story
Demonstration Digital Story
  • A digital story made by me (June 2007)
  • Students enjoyed and appreciated this project of digital storytelling, because they have built up self-confidence in this process of using English in making a personal video clip.
differences between scores of pre and post oral tests
Differences between scores of pre-and post-oral tests
  • 36% of the subjectshas raised a minor increase while
  • 29% of the subjects remained at the same level, while
  • even 23% of the subjects’ scores displayed a bit of decrease.
  • Making and sharing digital stories can be a favorite classroom tool that leads to active learning action.
  • Digital stories can be a great source of tremendous inspiration.
  • As my project shows, digital storytelling really finds its place in the college classroom. It proves to be a favorite classroom tool.
  • However, I do not get an adequate evidence to prove that digital storytelling effectively reinforce speaking, listening and writing, what I can prove is that it suits college students’ needs of exploring an innovative way to enhance English learning.
  • And these digital personal narrative archives can be powerful learning resources for Chinese learners of foreign languages
  • Joe Lambert 2003 Digital Storytelling Cookbook and Traveling Companion version 4.0 Contributed by Nina Mullen, Caleb Paull, Emily Paulos, Thenmozhi Soundararajan Digital Diner Press
  • Joe Lambert 2002, 2010 Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Communities

Digital Diner Press

  • Kathleen M. Bailey 2003 Exploring Speaking Skills from Practical English Language Teaching ( David Nunan ed)pp 47-66 The McGraw-Hill Contemporary
  • Tom Banaszewski 2002 Digital Storytelling Finds its Place in the Classroom Multi-Media Schools
  • Lorraine Hopping Egan 2008 Storytelling and Conversation Games to Teach English Presented at 2008 TESOL Convention, from
  • Verdugo, Ddolores Ramirez; Belmonta, Isabel Alonso 2007 Using Digital Stories to Improve Listening Comprehension with Spanish Young Learners of English, Language Learning and Technology