Digital Storytelling in a Curriculum Reform: Influence on English Language Learning Among University Students in Taiwan
In this internationally competitive world, developing effective English ability has been a major concern in Taiwan, a setting where English is a foreign language (EFL). Digital storytelling (DST) has been proved to be valid for developing language abilities. However, empirical research with a large scale of samples have rarely been done in any EFL setting. This study came from a curriculum reform at a university in central Taiwan. The school recorded the English performance for their freshman students every year, and found the English performance for the students usually decreased within the first school years. The curriculum reform included the use of digital storytelling to replace the final paper-pen test. This study investigates if DST helps EFL students improving their overall English abilities. In total, 842 university students and 10 teachers participated in this study. With regular English class schedule, the students were assigned digital storytelling as their final projects. Data collected included both quantitative, such as the pretest and posttest scores of a standardized English test, and qualitative data, observation and their oral performances in their final presentations. Significant improvements were found on their English listening test results and their English oral performance. The paper concludes with implication and suggestion for future research and practices.
Keywords - Digital Storytelling, English oral performance, English listening ability, English as a foreign language (EFL), English curriculum reform, higher education