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Enhancing language learning through creation: the effect of digital storytelling on student learning motivation and performance in a school English course

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Abstract

This study explored how a free-space digital storytelling approach that advocates autonomy and creativity can be implemented in a formal elementary classroom and how it impacts students’ language learning motivation and performances. Participants of the study were 64 sixth grade students in Taiwan. Following an experimental design, the data collected from three data sources, including motivation surveys, achievement test scores, and digital stories, were analyzed and triangulated. Two performance indicators of the digital storytelling, levels of language usage and levels of creativity, were found to have significant but different impacts on language learning. While the students’ language usage performance in digital storytelling was significantly related to their achievement test scores, their creativity performance were significantly related to multiple motivation components, including extrinsic motivation, task value and elaboration. It was also found that the proposed digital storytelling approach had a positive impact on students’ language performance and contributed to an increase to students’ motivation in two dimensions: extrinsic goal orientation and elaboration, rather than intrinsic goal orientation. The results suggest that the positive impact of the proposed storytelling pedagogy resides in allowing students to stretch their creativity while demonstrating their language productivity, with the leverage of a holistic assessment scheme.

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Funding

This study was funded by Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (TW) (Grant Number 106-2511-S-008 -002 -MY3).

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Correspondence to Shu-Ju Diana Tai.

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Appendix

Appendix

Description of the five motivational dimensions.

  • Intrinsic goal orientation The dimension includes 4 questionnaire items concerning the degree to which the students perceive themselves to be participating in the English learning task for reasons such as interest and curiosity.

  • Extrinsic goal orientation The dimension includes 4 questionnaire items concerning the degree to which the students perceive themselves to be participating in the English learning task for reasons such as grades and evaluation by others.

  • Task value The dimension includes 6 questionnaire items concerning the students’ evaluation of how important and how useful the English learning task is.

  • Elaboration This dimension was included in the questionnaire since elaboration strategies help students store information in their long-term memory by building internal connections between the items learned. The dimension involved 6 questionnaire items concerning the degree to which the students applied, summarized and paraphrased what they had learned in the English learning task.

  • Peer learning The questionnaire includes this dimension since dialogues with peers can help students clarify course material and reach insights one may not have attained on one’s own. The dimension includes 3 questionnaire items concerning the degree to which the students learned with peers in the English learning task.

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Liu, KP., Tai, SJ.D. & Liu, CC. Enhancing language learning through creation: the effect of digital storytelling on student learning motivation and performance in a school English course. Education Tech Research Dev 66, 913–935 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-018-9592-z

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