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Second language acquisition doctoral students’ perceptions of a collaborative digital storytelling project
Research indicates digital storytelling (DS) projects have multiple beneficial uses in language teacher education and teacher education in general. These include the development of teacher knowledge and skills (e.g., target language, pedagogical practices, educational technology [ET]), reflection on and sharing personal experiences, identity work, and the exploration of sociocultural or sociopolitical issues. However, while some teacher educators and researchers may have an interest in employing DS projects for purposes such as these, understanding how education majors perceive these multimodal projects may help improve their design and implementation. With this in mind, I explored the DS-related experiences and perceptions of international SLA doctoral students who had engaged in a collaborative DS project in a course on the use of ET in second/foreign language (L2) education. The imagined audiences of their DS were L2 teachers engaged in professional development, and the purpose of their DS was to promote the use of different types of ET in L2 education. Thematic analysis of a digital survey, semi-structured interviews, and posts in the course’s online discussion forum indicated the participants believed the DS project was enjoyable and motivational, and resulted in multiple learning outcomes, including improvement of the participants’ knowledge of ET. Some participants also stated they had learned a new type of learning activity (i.e., DS) to employ with their future students. Challenges the participants faced included employing unfamiliar technology, acquiring resources to create quality digital stories, and coordinating efforts with group mates. Implications for language teacher education practice and research are discussed.
I am a recent graduate from a PhD program focusing on Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology. Before that, I taught EFL in Japan for about 19 years. My research interests are L2 teacher education, multimodal literacy, and applications of Systemic Functional Linguistics in L2 education.