Extensive reading and digital storytelling both utilize stories for language education. In extensive reading, learners are expected to read a lot of easy reading materials to develop their reading fluency. Many studies have been made on the effective use of extensive reading in classrooms. Digital storytelling, a new storytelling technique using computer-based tools, is gaining popularity in Japan’s college English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classes, reflecting the trends toward collaborative learning and content based learning. However, the primary goals of these two activities have been to improve learners’ receptive and productive skills in the target language, involving less emphasis on structural analysis of the narrative texts. This can be contrasted with the way other types of texts such as expository writings are taught in classrooms, where focus on their logical structure and patterns of organization is an essential part of language activities.
In this paper, a project combining extensive reading and digital storytelling is reported. It was conducted during an EFL reading course for advanced and motivated learners at a national university in Japan. The aim of the project was to direct learners’ attention to the story structure while developing their reading/oral fluency through extensive reading and digital storytelling. The students worked in groups to analyze the books they chose in terms of plot structure and characters, and to create digital stories of the books based on the analysis.
The findings of this paper are as follows: (1) The questionnaire survey results showed positive feedback on the activities such as extensive reading, story analysis, and digital storytelling; (2) Positive comments were also found in collaborative learning through digital storytelling; (3) There was some negative feedback on the significance of this classroom practice, requiring time-consuming out-of-class tasks involving technology.