The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

A Personal Storytelling Course to Promote English-medium University Success

Christine Burns, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong)


A second-language student’s progression to English-medium tertiary education presents many challenges, from building new social networks to coping with demanding academic courses [1]. This paper argues for the promotion of storytelling, specifically personal narrative, as a Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) subject for English-medium universities. Storytelling, both an ancient art and modern science, is a worthy subject with a wide array of real-world applications such as public speaking, marketing, teaching, and job interviews. As a classroom activity, storytelling addresses students’ more urgent need to boost their English proficiency to succeed in their studies. A course which teaches storytelling principles and theories and develops storytelling and speaking skills can promote effective learning of language and communication skills. Storytelling activities use and integrate the four language skills. Sharing and listening to stories based on personal experience activates the student in their learning, and as an authentic task, engages them. The social interaction which occurs as students listen to others’ stories, give feedback, and learn from more proficient peers promotes cognitive growth [2]. Reflection of learning is easily integrated into the curriculum [3] as a key stage of the experiential learning process [4]. Repetitive speaking practice can aid in overcoming anxiety and building fluency and confidence. Such a course can enhance students’ language skills, improve their affect, and act as a comforting gateway to the rigors of academic life.

Keywords: storytelling; language learning; engagement; experiential learning

References (partial list):

[1] Morrison, B. (2014). Challenges faced by non-native undergraduate student writers in an English-medium university. The Asian ESP Journal Volume 1 Issue, 137, 2004.

[2] Van Compernolle, R. A. Sociocultural theory and L2 instructional pragmatics (Vol. 74). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters, 2014.

[3] Alterio, M., & McDrury, J.  Learning through storytelling in higher education: Using reflection and experience to improve learning. Milton Park, UK: Routledge, 2003.

[4] Kolb, D.A. Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development, Englewood Cliffs, Prentice Hall, 1984.

Back to the list


Reserved area

Media Partners:

Click BrownWalker Press logo for the International Academic and Industry Conference Event Calendar announcing scientific, academic and industry gatherings, online events, call for papers and journal articles
Pixel - Via Luigi Lanzi 12 - 50134 Firenze (FI) - VAT IT 05118710481
    Copyright © 2024 - All rights reserved

Privacy Policy