By Kulia, Daisy, Alice and Betty


Photo Credit: rodzr via Compfight cc

As a language learner, have you ever experienced feeling fully competent in activities in the language classroom, but then finding yourself incapable of communicating when thrown into the real world?  Sadly this is all too familiar for the majority of us.

One of the reasons for this may be that we had been too confined to a receptive student identity in the classroom and were not trained to translate the language skill into out-of-class settings.  A solution could be found in a study done by Vasudevan, Schultz and Bateman (2010) .  Together with a fifth-grade teacher, they explored the breadth of composing texts using multimodality (i.e. combinations of words and images) and the literate identities such multimodal composing affords.

The teacher aimed for the students to each tell their own story of their past, present and future. This was done in stages throughout the year, starting with a poem (the most traditional pencil and paper task), then a show-and-tell using “Memoir Pockets”, and then moving on to photography, audio recording and filming.  The final product was a multimodal story, which allowed students to share their personal stories with their classmates, families, or an even wider audience.

Through using different digital devices to tell stories, students collaborated on literacy practices and increased their modes of participation and engagement in the classroom. Compared to traditional classroom-based activities, the multimodal storytelling focused more on students’ own identities as realized outside the classroom: for example, their identities as family members, basketball players, etc. It did so by allowing students to incorporate aspects of their out-of-class lives, represented in pictures for example, into the classroom. This project brought about big changes for different students.

For students like Michael:

Image credit, Vasudevan et al. (2010)


Before, Michael was an outgoing and energetic African American boy with no passion on school tasks, but he was keen on activities with in which he could attract a lot of personal attention from others, like playing basketball. Through the project, Michael shifted his identity from a student to an actual writer. Multimodal storytelling allowed Michael to connect his home, community, and school contexts and take risks in his composition of stories, including their content and genres.  He became more engaged in school tasks. Also, he took on a recognizable literate identity in his classroom experience that positioned him differently in relation to his peers because he took control the storytelling.


For students like Saima:

Image credit, Vasudevan et al. (2010)


Previously, Saima was a shy and physically small girl who did not feel much sense of belonging in the classroom because of her poor English. Multimodal storytelling allowed her to make a contribution to the classroom community through images and music. Saima displayed tremendous improvement in her academic reading and writing practices as she rapidly learned a new language and a new way of learning.  The poetry, writing, photographs, and music all gave Saima the chance to tell her story. Also, she became confident in showing her identity of being a child of South Asian immigrants.


Nowadays, students enjoy a culture packed with media experiences that are under-represented in the school curriculum and not present at all in the formal assessment criteria which currently drive the school system. Technology gives students new ways to tell stories with electronic tools such as multimedia softwares, and helps students make formal or nonfiction presentations.

Multimodal storytelling delivers visuals and audios and permits electronic sharing opportunities, providing chances for many oral-aural classroom events. The case studies provided in this research revealed that multimodal storytelling allows students to bring their out–of-classroom knowledge and experiences from society and become more motivated in school tasks. Apart from that, students who have few experiences speaking in front of others can use the visuals to help them remember and deliver their lines.

One exciting development made possible by the World Wide Web (WWW) is the abundance of multimedia software programs now within the grasp of students everywhere. Apart from the software suggested in the research, students can also use MovieWorks, Digital Chisel or Naturally Speaking for Teens to add visuals to their retelling of stories. WiggleWorks, for instance, allows students to record stories on the computer and listen to themselves. Some of these programs can create HTML files that can be placed on a class or school website. All of them can be used creatively to encourage students to speak inside and outside the language classrooms.


  1. Apart from pictures and videos, can you think of other modalities that can be used in multimodal storytelling? How might multimodal storytelling be used in conjunction with language learning activities?
  2. Do you have any experience of sharing your personal stories in class? Can you share with us?


Vasudevan, L., Schultz, K., & Bateman, J. (2010). Rethinking Composing in a Digital Age: Authoring Literate Identities Through Multimodal Storytelling. Written Communication, 27(4), 442-468.

71 thoughts on “Finding New Literate Identities through Multimodal Storytelling

  1. I’ve never had such experience before but I think it is very exciting and useful to apply multimodel storytelling in the English class since it builds a free and relaxing environment for language learners and also increases students’ attention and participation. Students can work in different roles when they engage in the activities.

    As for other modalities, I would suggest using flash, to make the storytelling much more interesting and encourage students to practice speaking via explaining the flash. But the challenge is that students may confront with technical problems. Teachers’s support is quite essential.

    • I agree with you on the point that teachers need to support students’ use of technology, because some of the learners may be very young. In this case, the requirement for being teachers nowadays will be that the teacher should not only be qualified in terms of their language proficiency level as well as teaching level, but also master the skills of using new technologies.

    • You are right Annie! Flash would definitely make the class interesting! I have once used flash in my computer class and I found that it could be challenging for both teachers and students and much more time is required for both parties to learn how to use flash.

    • I like the idea using flash because students can collaborate with many different ideas that you couldn’t think of and it would be fine. I remember once I had a computer lesson which asks us to use flash to present different kinds of sports with hyperlinks. It is challenging for my group mates and me but we were able to learn more: how to present information in a clear and simple way as well as how to use some simple functions for flash

    • I think you are right! Using flash is a good idea. But just as you’ve mentioned, there would be some technical problems when students use such software. Just like me…LOL… Because I don’t really get familiar with certain computer things.Then, challenge appears. What if teachers are not familiar with digital devises, how do they give their students useful suggestions?

    • I am on the same side with you. Flash is very vivid, but some technical problems exist as well. I tried to create a flash file, but failed finally. Thus, teachers play important role for technical support. Besides flash, windows media player is also a good choice if the noted problem is overcome.

  2. Multimodal storytelling integrates the practice of four language skills. For example, students first write down their own story (writing), make audio recording or video (speaking), check the recordings (listening) and share other’s story (reading/listening). Sharing personal story connects the language learning with students’ real life, whcih studnets would feel more familiar and meaningful. Multimodality diverses the ways of telling a story, which to a great extent triggers students’ interest and creativity. I never experienced multimodal storytelling especially with new technologies. I would suggest other modalities like editting personal homepage, self-recording a monologue and writing journals.

    • I like your idea about editing personal homepage. I think it likes our Renren or Microblog homepage translated in the target language. The non-topic topic can give learners much space to create, and the amount of fans or likes motivate students to be well-prepared for writing or commenting. This will help them improve some of the language skills.

    • The use of multimodal storytelling does practice students’ four language skills. Besides, it is really a student-centered activity, which is in their controls. It will most likely to enhance students’ motivation and interest in language learning and arise their awareness and foster their sense of new literacies.

  3. Multimodal storytelling is a whole new experience for me. As a language learner in mainland China, I had to spent much my time on traditional studies, which are effective but not that interesting.
    The most shine part of multimodal storytelling is combining personal interests and experience into language learning. It makes the process of language studying more connected to the real life. Multimodal storytelling can promote students’ reading and writing skills by integrating learners’ imagination, which can break the boundaries of reading and writing. Students are more willing to learn subjectively and independently.

    • I do agree that motivating students to learn proactively is the main purpose of multimodal teaching. However, it is sad that multimodal teaching is very uncommon in the language curriculum in both China and Hong Kong. I do wish the Education Bureau will reinforce the promotion of mulitmodality in language class.

    • I really like the point you are making here Stella, when you point out the importance of ‘combining personal interests and experience into language learning’. As much as anything else, this approach allows students to experiment with various ways of making meaning, but at the same time, one has to ensure that it is always purposeful and authentic.

    • I agree with you that multimodal storytelling is brand new in mainland China. We usually use the traditional oral story telling, which is less interesting that multimodal storytelling.

  4. Indeed, digital storytelling combines the traditional oral storytelling with new technologies to form a more interesting and effective learning process. Personally, I never had this kind of experience before, but I think it would be very excited to integrate something like images, sound or music effects into a process of storytelling , which can add more dramatic effect and and emotions, thus being more attractive to learners. I would like to try this out later in my teaching.

  5. It is a fact that multimodal storytelling helps to cultivate the multi-literacies of students. In this process, students needed to use different digital devices to create their own stories based on their lives. Compared with traditional storytelling, multimodal storytelling requests students to think about how to integrate the text with sound, pictures and video meaningfully with digital tools. When collecting and editing information, they can practices reading and listening abilities. While writing and presenting their own stories, writing and speaking skills can be developed. Personally, I never experienced this kind of activity, an I think that as traditional class activities are usually limited to PPT presentation, it is necessary to give students other forms of activities like multimodal storytelling.

    • Indeed, students can develop skills such as writing and speaking by doing multimodal storytelling. Compared to the traditional way, students have more access to integrating personal experience and language skills. Consequently, they practice more than before, so this way of teaching can deliver better academic outcome.

    • You have raised an important point! Yes, Multimodal storytelling allows students to have a chance to bring in their personal experience and out-of-classroom knowledge to their classmates and teachers. This approach is highly interactive and can motivate students effectively. From the teacher’s perspective, this approach can provide an alternative way to assess students’ learning progress and involvement.

  6. Before I took this course, I think multimodality or technology use in a language syllabus is only something additional. Now, after working on the assignment and read all the readings, I think maybe incorporating digital media or literacy is ‘a way out’.

    I have been teaching in the same primary school for years and I think the students in these few years are very different from the ones I taught many years ago. Now half of the class has difficulty to pay attention. PowerPoint, E-books are not enough to interest them anymore.

    I suspect that technology has not just affected our ways of doing, thinking, making media, relating, being, but also ‘perceiving’.

    Nowadays , children in Hong Kong are used to multimodal stimuli. It is hard for them to just listen to teachers or their classmates.We need to engage them and let them take the lead. So digital story telling is a possible ‘way out’.

    I did not have any prior experience on making a digital video or using it to teach. Therefore, before designing a serious project, I may first implement ‘digital story’ on a voluntary basis.
    For example, in a primary school, we can invite parents to help. Students and parents can produce a short video (1-2 minutes) using their phones on the topic set by the teacher. One student can play his or her video in class every week, just like the traditional show and tell activity. I will just see how much parental support we can get and the reaction of students.

    • A short video making session would be a feasible solution as almost all students can use their phones to perform the activity instead of learning an extra program. Yet, teachers may need to demonstrate what is the main language focus of the lesson. Otherwise, students may lose control and discuss the funny things made by their classroom in the videos

    • oh, recording a video with the support from parents would be too time-consuming; some parents might be unhappy about those kind of activities in mainland China, I don’t know how it is going on in HK?

    • i think so, that’s why it would be on a voluntary basis.
      In my school, parents complain about simple online exercise as well. They claim that their computer has broken down or they don’t allow students to get online on their own…
      There are a lot of practical barriers indeed.

    • It is a great point that technology has changed the way we perceive things as well. Although it may be more comfortable to stay in our comfort zone and teach as we have always done, it may be important that we also move forward with the new needs and new environments of our students.

    • Some very interesting points here. As students change their ways we do have to change and adapt. Also, we need to prepare them for a world where collaborative writing and multimodal composition is the norm.

      Fiona, perhaps you can take a project-based approach in your context and provide students with some form of inquiry, that they can document and showcase in a multimodal way. As there is always going to be a narration, it ought to be clear to everyone that language is an essential component of what you are doing and I’d suggest providing lots of opportunities for feedback on the scripted work of students. This way, there are lots of chances for language acquisition in the process. Another thing to consider is the audience: who are students ‘writing’ for and to what extent is that audience authentic?

      Good luck with this new way out! Another good place to try out new things, by the way, is in after school clubs (e.g. The English Club). That might even be better, as students may not respond well to something that is presented as ‘voluntary’, and so (perhaps), not valued.

    • Thanks for sharing your personal teaching experiences related to multimodal technology use. And I am inspired by you that it is not enough just to use technology to inspire students, because they are not the same as the ones years before. They are living in a world where technology is everywhere and is no longer new to them. So, we truly should think of ways of using technology to make students get involved, actively participate in the learning process.

  7. I do agree employing multimodal material in teaching can help students express thenselves better, especially in L2. Aside from arousing students’ interest, multimodal can help students to be more focus in the classroom Plain text are more monotonous and hence students may lost patience in reading long passage. Therefore, images and videos have more immediate effects in captivating attention.
    But in employing digital tools in language teaching, teachers may need to aware of the complexity of the task. The task should not be too technical or else both teachers and students may need to spend great deal of time to overcome techincal problem before engaging the real language activities.
    I also think that the topics included in multimodal tasks should be student-centred, i.e more personalized. Students will therefore be more motivated and will not treat the task as an “extra burden”.
    When I was in high school, my English teacher told us to make a video clip about our favourite show-biz person. All of us were very intrigued by this task and were eage to express our Hollywood obession in the class. But before creating the video, my teacher taught some vocabulary that might be useful for the task. Throughout the task, the learning atmosphere was great and we also had a much better understanding towards the target vocabulary items.

    • I totally agree with your point that the multimodal teaching should put students as priority. From last class, I realize that there is one student who is skillful in using digital tools or has the awareness of learning and improving his skills. Apart from reading the context and recording it, through the cooperation and communication, students can improve their speaking as well.

  8. Before reading materials about multimodality, I thought there were only two types, namely photos and videos. Yet, there are actually many kinds as provided by the the following website which may interest some of you too: This site can be a tool for developing multi-modal lessons. Apart from paper multimodal text such as books and photos, another common one is the digital multimodal text like videos, e-books and blogs. The other two kinds are quite interesting to me, they are live multimodal texts which refer to performance or event and transmedia multimodal texts which involve the use of multi media platforms to complete the production process step by step. I think we teachers can try to make use of these two special texts to add new elements to language learning in class. For instance, bringing students to a language learning activity such as festive activities organized by language centre in school (if available). After participating in such activities, students will be required to write some reflections about what they have learned about the activity and the vocabulary used in the activity.

    • Thanks for the share!! I found this website very useful for beginners to use and learn some simple concept about multimodal storytelling.

      Other than festive, I guess it would be great if we allow students to collaborate for a certain theme like ”environoment”, ”dream”. I guess it will be interesting to see how creative students can be.

    • Thank you for your share, Carrie. And I also like your idea of asking students to write reflection. In this way, we teachers can easily monitor the process and make some evaluation.

  9. It is true that storytelling can help language learners be actively involved in class activities. For me, when I was a secondary school students, I attended a language leaning group and teachers encouraged us to do something like storytelling. I was really shy and not willing to be singled out to speaking. However, with more opportunities to tell story, I become active than before.
    With some digital tools, students can present their feelings vividly and audiences can empathize with story teller.

  10. Personally, I don’t have this kind of experience in the class. I think it is a good idea to integrate multimodal srotytelling in language classroom, which could motivate students in language learning and cultivate their ability of using new literacies. With the help of multimodalites, some shy students will be more courageous to speak in front of the whole class. More importantly, in multimodal storytelling, students find themselves take more active roles in their language learning and show their unique identities. Apart from pictures and videos, background music and websites can also be used in multimodal storytelling. BGM sets off the atmosphere of the story and makes storytelling more vivid and interesting, while websites can organize the story in a more systematic way.

    • I agree with you, Yiyi. We often read poems with BGM, so does storytelling especially in some broadcasting program, and technologies have made this to be more simple and convenient. Storytelling websites also suit language learning class. In this way, a storytelling blog like the blog of our class could be made.

  11. I think storytelling is a proper way of utilizing what language learning skills students’ have learned. We need to write a story, obviously, train our speaking skills when we talk about our stories and listening skills when others tell about their stories. We might also need to read relative materials before we start to write our own story. Multimodal technologies could help storytelling to be more interesting and vivid.
    I was encouraged to tell stories about my families, hometown, travels, hobbies and things like these when I learned English. In order to make my story to be more attractive, I tried to learn different technologies like powerpoint, Adobe Flash and Movie Maker. When I finished my story, I felt fulling with strong sense of achievement. I can not only improve my language learning but also technical learning. However, making a multimodal story is really time consuming, this approach might only offered as an option for those who are interested in technologies.

    • Thanks for sharing!!!
      So, do you agree that if teacher can provide some technical help to students, will this kind of storytelling teaching method be more success? And since it is time consuming task, do you think it is okay to make it into a final test for students? (cause in this way, they could have a lot of time to prepare.)

    • Hi! Emma, your experience sounds quite interesting. I agree that multimodal storytelling is kind of time-consuming, but students could get greater sense of achievement at the same time. Students will be attracted by this new form of storytelling and be more engaged in class activities.

    • Hi Kulia! I do agree that it would be better if teacher could offer technical help, which obviously is a new requirement for teachers. And a final storytelling project sounds interesting! A long-term preparing would ease students and benefit them more. You have offered a suitable solving method!

    • I agree with your idea that multimodal storytelling can be time-consuming as students need to learn how to use the software for presenting it. And they also confront with technology difficulties when doing the task. So teachers’ help may be necessary for them in the activity.

  12. To be honest, I really like this activities using multimodal texts both in and out of classes. This is teachers’ responsibility to tell students clearly how to operate and process during the activity. Teachers can invite students to share their interesting experience per day with prepared materials, including recording a show, a song, or something else; than, bonus would be given according to their performances and the multimodal materials they choose. I believe their motivation would be hight stimulated.

  13. Yes it is really beneficial when students can bring in experiences from outside the classroom. For the case of Michael, this integration with his daily life made him a better performer in class because finally he was studying something that interested him, as opposed to set textbook materials. The various modalities of story telling also redefined success, which I find most meaningful. These different channels allow the students to demonstrate their communications skills through various mediums, not limited only to a written essay.

    • Yes, I think now students have a different to gain academic success, not necessarily achieve high mark in a test. They can produce in a way – modality – that attracts their interest most. And in that way, students are using language in real life context.

    • Yes, storytelling makes language learning more life-related and meaningful. Multimodality allows students to tell the story in different ways based on their preferences or strengths. This teaching practice should be encouraged since it is much more than learning a languaeg, at the same time it develops learners’ digital technology skills.

    • Apart from listening and speaking skills, people may get to improve their discourse organization skills for writing in the future.:)

  14. I have the similar experience during my freshmen year in university. Our foreign teacher asked us to prepare a speech about our hometown with the help of multimedia. So we use videos, sounds, images all modes we could think of to facilitate our speech. Actually, when we did the speech, we had the feeling of introducing the best aspects of our hometown out of pride of our own hometown. Unlike traditional text, through such practice, students are the presenters as well as the audience and all students are actively engaged in the activity. Personally, I think is quite motivating and useful in language learning. As for the topic, I think teachers have to choose the topics which students are interested in or they can have some negotiation with students.

    • Presenting with the aid of multimedia is surely a nice way to attract the attention of students. If students are asked to read traditional text, I believe that they will feel bored.

      For the presentation, the selection of topic is vital. If students are interested in the chosen topic, the incentive of learning would surely increase. They may learn new vocabulary when they do research online.

  15. Gosh! I find myself very much similar to the type of person you described in the first paragraph of this blog post! I think this may be related to examination-oriented nature of Hong Kong’s education system.

    For me, when I was studying my associate drgree, I had an experience sharing my stories in a computer class. But it was rather simple. With the aid of the powerpoint, I presented to the whole class my favourite things. Audio and video clips were also embedded. Maybe that was only a computer studies course, the requirement on language is not very high. The most vital thing is to utilize technology to make the sharing more interesting.

    I do think that using multimodality in class is essential. Take the above cases as examples, students can actually train their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in a rather relaxing manner. When they draft their scripts, they need to jot down points and write/type them out. Students may also need to read some extra material so as to make their presentation more comprehensive. As for speaking, as students need to share in front of the class, their communication skills will be enhanced too. Students will also listen to others’ sharing – they practice their listening skills as well.

    Not only can multimodality enable students to practice their language skills as well as computer skills, it can also engage students in their learning process. Students are more motivated. In this competitive society, acquiring knowledge on books alone is no longer adequate. Classes assisted multimodality can prepare students well and make them all-rounded.

  16. Well, I think audio recording to make a train story is kind of using modalities for language learning. It is a good way to get all students involved and contributing to a story.
    I don’t have experience as using modalities to express myself or share experience but I think many of us have experience as standing in front of the classroom and sharing our stories, especially in language class. I see it as embarrassing. Fortunately, we now have other ways like producing a video to share our stories, which can encourage shy students to speak out their ideas. And I used to think of this way as an encouragement for shy students who want to engage in a class. But, as the case mention, for those reluctant students, it is also a way to get them engaged and motivated. Maybe in the future class, I would try these ways out to attract students’ attention.

    • Yes. I agree with you that many shy students have chance to speak up in the language classroom through using audio recording. More importantly, many of them are not able to speak and express themselves freely and fluently in front of the class due to many affective factors, like anxiety. Fortunately, problems can be solved when they use the audio recorder.

  17. I think multimodal storytelling really motivates students in language learning since what they did is evaluated by more audiences except for their teacher. On top of this, each student becomes a more independent learner in the project. They need to choose pictures and background music for their own story and express themselves freely.

    I think apart from pictures and videos, students could read their story out, record it and insert the audio record on their story page. In this way, readers can listen to their story while read it. Students can also practice their speaking skills, like using different tones and stress, and improve their reading fluency.

    • I think that audio practice is good for both speaking and listening. Students who want to improve speaking skills may want to give the best performance of themselves because it is part of the peer evaluation or teacher assessment. For those who want to practice listening skills, listening to recorded material can be helpful too.

  18. I don’t have much experience in sharing my own stories to the public. But i did so when i was on a trip. I remember each and every place that I have visited and i think it is special, i will make a record of my own, to remind myself what is this place and what is so special about this place; which recall my trip to Grand Canon. It was not merely a recording for me, but it was also a greeting for my family and friends at HK at that time. I want to share everything that i have experienced.

    I think pictures with descriptions are the best combo when it comes to presentation. It is simple, clear and neat. I like the presentation style for “Blogs in Plain English” as it is simple, yet detailed enough to grab the audience’s heart. I think this kind of multimodal storytelling. I think students will find it quite interesting and will be motivated by it as well as it is a blend of flash and video ( from my point of view).

    • I think every of us are making certain kinds of sharing experience in the social platform. I also found the presentation style for “Blogs in Plain English” attractive for me. It is different from the traditional videos we see. I like the way of the presenter present his or her idea in writing or drawing and then make it into a video form.

  19. I do have the experience to share my story in the public but just in a very traditional way instead of with digital devices.
    Multimodal storytelling can be really a factor to make our students become self-autonomy.Besides, it is another effective way to build up students confidence and their sense of belongs in their class,just like the girl,Saima ,mentioned above. With the help of photographs or videos, she makes a great process in her academic reading and writing.More importantly, she is capable of avoiding her weaknesses but also able to contribute to classroom community.

    On the other side, teacher can try to ask the students to use digital tools to dub for movies or TV series. Students can choose their favorites to dub, which can practice their pronunciation and intonation. And the process of rubbing can be recorded as videos by their group mates. I think it interesting when learning L2. Although I haven’t put this way into practice, it’s worth a shot, I presume.

    • I have benefited from the effectiveness of mutlimodal storytelling when I was in high school. It caters for the learning styles/preferences of different students. For learners like me, who loves to learn visually, multimodal storytelling provides plenty of visual aids.Unlike traditional approach, students can act as explorer and investigator throughout the process of multimodal storytelling. Today, I also tried to integrate multimodal storytelling into my teaching.=)) I believe this approach can benefit more and more ESL learners!

  20. I do not have the experience of sharing my stories in front of the class but I do think the multimodal storytelling is an effective way to arise students’ interests in language learning. This kind of storytelling gives students a more positive identity and they can be fully engaged in their own stories where they are the protagonists.
    Apart form the pictures and videos, hyperlink is also a kind of multimodality in language learning. But this is kind of academic and not that interesting. Teachers can also encourage students to make their own audios where they can speak out their story as a real storyteller. This will greatly improve students’ pronunciation. Besides, when compared with speaking in front of the public, this kind of recording is less nervous for students and they can be better prepared for their topic and avoid embarrassment.

    • As the recording you’ve mentioned, that reminds me of my friend that she is very anxious to be speak in the public. So she asks me to record her presentation before the class so that she can lower her anxiety when speaking and can make her speech perfect. And she plays this video in her presentation time instead of giving a speech in real-time.LOL
      But one thing can be demonstrated that recording and videos somewhat decrease students anxiety.

  21. Multimodal storytelling is a new way for writing. Different from the old one, its process and tools are complicated. For instance, for “old” form of writing, only a pen and a piece of paper are needed. However, pens, papers, recordings, computers, cameras and many digital devices are required for the “new” form of writing. Similarly, brainstorming, mapping, quick writing, drafting, feedback, revising, proofreading and editing are the components of old way of writing. But, for new one, picturing, photographing, layout designing, video inserting and other steps should be added.

    With these new changes, writing is multiple and more attractive in terms of learners’ motivation or engagement in language using. They would spend more time in “design” (not just finish) their own writing which becomes more interesting and “fashion”. Moreover, their engagement contributes to their autonomy in using and learning at the same time, which could be reflected by the example of Michael.

  22. We used to have a storytelling contest in which the class is divided into different groups and every group is equipped with a recorder, it is either the repeater or the simplest mobile phone. Everyone is supposed to record their own voice and all the works is integrated together. Teacher will play and replay it in the class to practice our listening skills with exercises. And we are also required to give response and feedback, and also score about the frequency, integrity and performance as a whole. It is funny and we are engaged in it. I think it can be promoted into more language classroom.

    • Quite interesting activity! I think it is a good way to practice listening and speaking skills. But whether is this activity time consuming? I find the process a little bit complex.

    • Well, teacher arrange this homework in the class and ask us to fulfill it after class and take the group work next class and give exercise. One thing to mention here is that the group work may hand in to the teacher in advance, maybe for the teacher to get familiar with them and know better how to do activity in the class.

  23. I strongly agree with the idea in the text that the multimodal story-telling teaching method brings new definition of students in the new technology era. This multimodality helps students combine the teaching content with their own experiences. Students can share their personal experiences through making audio recording, etc. and therefore feel more involved in the class activities. This link between class the student’s life can also boost students’ interest in classroom studies. But there are also some practical problems in the actual application process of this model. For example, the collaboration between teachers, students and parents are highly needed.

  24. telling stories were often used in the English learning classes when I was high school student, but in a very traditional way. multimodal storytelling is something new to me. I think it do motivate students’ interest in language learning, because it can integret their own life experience with language learning.

    • i totally agree with you that in most classes in mainland China, oral story telling is the most popular way other than modern modalities. It is good idea for teachers to develop and adopt these new modalities to tell story to students to learn a language.

    • I agree. Students nowadays are blessed with the use of technology. They have many means to learn and perform well. This is in contrast to my days of learning where i can only learn storytelling with books and recorders.

  25. In fact there are various modalities which we can take advantage of to tell stories such as we can use video, cartoons, interesting famous films or serious to help students understand stories. I used to share my stories by traditional oral ways plus presenting pictures and audios and videos to assist students understand what I am talking about.

  26. When I was a sophomore at University, my teacher of the Speaking Course asked us to share our personal experiences of any kind in class, and each of us needed to speak for at least 10 minutes. But at that time, we didn’t combine the assignment with multimodal technology forms. Mostly, we only used PowerPoint to assist our presentation. So, although we improved our speaking skills by that assignment, it might not be that effective.

    • I also got a similar experience.=) When i was in York University, my teacher also ask me to tell my story, but with the use of drama. My group and I were just given 5 minutes to prepare and then we will have to present our story with tableau(staged scene) . I think it is an extremely simple and effective way for student because it incorporate tactile, visual and audio learning together. Using drama to tell individual stories also promotes creativity and self initiative to learn.

    • I think that Powerpoint is the easiest way to assist a student to present something. Using multimodal is a more arduous task for teachers to come up with new ways of inspiring students like video clips shooting, film editing, video processing etc.

    • I have similar experiences with you. In the oral English classes taught by native speakers, we sometimes were asked to give a speech about personal experiences. Or the teacher gave us a topic for a debate where we may refer to our personal stories for debating.However, we seldom intergrated that with modalities.

  27. Personally, I have similar experiences in using multimodalities to share personal experiences in class. We students were asked to share our own feelings about the increasingly changing environment around us through video clips in which we acted as reporters. During the process, we needed to write our lines down which exercised our writing skills. Then self checked and peer evaluated what was written which practiced reading skills. After that, we started to record our video clips and in this procedure, speaking and listening skills were practiced when we self evaluated and corrected our own speaking. Finally, we edited the video clips, combing them with subtitles, supporting pictures and etc.. Most importantly, we not only gained the improvement in all four language skills and the use of technologies whether consciously or unconsciously, but enjoyment.

  28. Multimodal story telling really motivates students. Through this way, students can integrate their personal interest with the language learning. So during the stage of preparing the video, they can make more efforts to polish their language. For me, I never have the multimodal story telling experience, but sometimes when teachers ask me questions, I may refer to some of my person experiences in order to answer the questions.

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