Digital storytelling in an L2 context, and its impact on student communication, engagement, and motivation.
Norton, H. J. (2014). Digital storytelling in an L2 context, and its impact on student communication, engagement, and motivation. (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8995
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8995
The communicative second language (L2) classroom requires a dual focus. On the one hand, students must be motivated (willing) to communicate, and teachers need to create activities that promote and facilitate peer interaction. Allied to this, is a need for accuracy. However, some L2 learners communicate rarely, if at all, while others struggle to achieve accuracy due to the constraints of time and space, and a lack of teacher feedback in class. This study has adopted the visual (and conceptual) metaphor of Yin and Yang to symbolize the equilibrium needed within the ideal communicative L2 classroom. This study explores the behaviours and perspectives of a group of L2 learners creating culture-based digital stories on VoiceThread. It examines whether this digital storytelling project can have an impact on students’ communicative experience, both online and in the classroom, their motivation and engagement, and their levels of spoken output in class. This interpretive study recognizes learner behaviours and perspectives as being unique to both the individual and the setting. A literature review presents an overview of digital storytelling, as well as research relevant to the pedagogical, affective, and technological aspects of this study. Data was collected through observation, interviews, and analysis of the digital stories. Findings indicate this digital storytelling project had a positive impact upon students’ communicative experience in different ways, which emphasizes the value of a subjectivist approach. The results also suggest high levels of motivation and communication. This study suggests the constituent elements of this digital storytelling project can enhance the overall communicative experience, promote spoken communication in the classroom, and motivate students. This thesis concludes by offering a series of recommendations for educators, to facilitate meaningful interactivity, and place the student and their culture at the centre of the learning experience.
University of Waikato
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