Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

Digital Storytelling as Support for Teaching Greek as FL/L2 to Adolescents. A Teacher Action Research Project

Panayiota Georgiou, Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus)


Teaching Greek as a Foreign Language can be a challenge for every educator. Students usually lose motivation because they cannot bother to practise all skills, especially writing. This was observed from six foreign language students’ academic performance which included tests on essay writing, grammar and vocabulary exercises as well as daily feedback received from the instructor. This Teacher Action Research Project aimed to investigate whether six Secondary School students who attended a Private Secondary School in Cyprus, benefited from the use of new technologies for the creation of digital stories and whether working in pairs to write their stories motivated and encouraged their experience. Data were collected during the three weeks of using Microsoft Sway, Microsoft’s latest presentation tool as well as word clouds. These technologies were employed because students needed to use vocabulary they had not used before along with correct use of sentence structure. The new features that Sway provides in comparison with PowerPoint Presentation, can be used to create interactive presentations and content that enables students to write their stories in a more fun and engaging way. From the observations, semi-structured in pair interviews and follow-up questionnaires, two emergent themes were the main findings. Theme one was referring to the benefits of utilising a technology approach to create digital stories for enhancing the learning of foreign language and theme two pointed out how much students enjoyed working together. The main output of this Teacher Action Research Project is that Digital Storytelling and specifically Microsoft Sway can be used to support students’ writing skills when learning Greek as a Foreign Language. In addition, when students work in pairs to create their digital stories, they learn how to work cooperatively, which is a substantial competence for the 21st Century. The dissertation concludes with suggestions for future research, limitations of the project and a final conclusion. The use of new technologies and especially of digital storytelling should be further explored in foreign language teaching.

Keywords: Digital Storytelling, Microsoft Sway, Word clouds, Cooperative Learning.

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