Report on Use of Digital Storytelling in Language-Learning

by Ryan Thompson March 18, 2016
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Discuss the use of digital storytelling in the teaching and learning of language and critically report on one journal article that investigates the use of digital storytelling in the language-learning context.


1. Introduction
Digital storytelling combines various types of multimedia − images, music, narration, text and video clips − to make a story that is appealing and interesting to a digital reader (Educause 2007) and is increasingly used in teaching and learning (Afrilyasanti & Basthomi 2011). It is an invaluable educational tool in relation to language learning because it can be used in a variety of ways (Thomas & Page 2011). Digital storytelling has the potential to influence the student audience and help them ‘make better meaning’ from the content they are exposed to. This report will discuss the potential and limitations of digital storytelling along with some fundamental technical information. It will then focus on one journal article that investigates the use of digital storytelling in language learning contexts.

2. Role of Digital Storytelling
Digital storytelling is an attractive educational aid because it ‘captivates and engages’
(Stanley & Dillingham 2011, p. 24) learners and helps develop artistic, technical, 0rganisational and storytelling talents in students (Ohler 2006). It brings together language, literacy and technology and this makes it an appealing activity for students who are likely to already be surrounded by various types of digital media (Stanley & Dillingham 2011). Digital stories are often the personal story of the writer, but may also be fiction, and may be based on a single topic or spread across many. Aside from the personal narrative, digital stories can also include a wide variety of different topics (Alexander 2011). However, there are limitations to digital storytelling. Ienotti (n.d.), an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and an avid supporter of digital storytelling, argues that it can be exhausting to supervise and guide the development of a whole class of individual students’ digital storytelling projects.

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