DIGITAL STORY IN ORAL ENGLISH TEACHING
Laily Amin Fajariyah
SMPN 5 Panggang, Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta
Digital storytelling is the process of combining the art of telling stories with a variety of
digital multimedia, such as images, audio, and video (Robin, B, 2006). It consists of some
steps starting from the collection of picture to the publication. The pictures or photos are
the visual being inserted in the process. The voice or soundtrack will be recorded before or
along the process as the audio input. The other input can be in the form of video. Those
visual, audio and/or video inputs will be blended in the digital storytelling by running the
special software. The process of editting allow users to innovate the visual and audio
inputs before it is published.
There are seven elements in digital storytelling, those are point of view, dramatic
questions, emotional content, the gift of your voice, the power of soundtrack, economy and
pacing (Center for Digital Storytelling, 2005). Those elements are supposed to be taken
into account in doing Digital Storytelling.
The result of the process is a digital story that can be used in the oral English
teaching. The digital story can accomodate the six component of tasks (Nunan, 2004: 4073). It also provides some benefits for the oral English teaching. In line with the current
“genre based’ curriculum, a digital story can be aimed at teaching monologue with the type
of text narrative and recount. It will also provide the students with enough visual and audio
input for doing the task. The setting of the story can be close to the students real world to
arise students attraction to the digital story which results in the active participation of the
students in the classroom.
Keyword: Digital Storytelling, soft ware, digital story, task
In this globalization era, technology is becoming increasingly important for human
lives. Almost the aspects of lives, both personal and professional lives, make use of
technology (Dudeney and Hockly, 2007: 5). There are two major beliefs related to
technologies growth that supports the use of tecnologies in education. Those are: (1)
Technology is everywhere and therefore, should be in education and (2) research has show
how and where computer-based methods are effective. Moreover, technology-based
method which are already implemented, are likely to have advantages for the instructional
process (Roblyer, M.D. 2003: 10-12). The advantages are as follows:
1. Gaining learners attention
The visual and interactive features of many technology resources are believed to be
able to focus students’ attention and encourage them to spend more time on
learning tasks (Pask-McCartney, 1989; Summers, 1990-1991). For example,
multimedia can be used to capture and hold students’ attention.
2. Engaging the learners through production work
The teacher can create their own technology-based products to make learning more
meaningful to students. For example, giving students opportunity to students to be
creative in making some products using technologies.
3. Increasing perceptions of control
When students can control their own learning, they will be more motivated. Some
researches report that computer-based materials are one of the power in improving
ORAL ENGLISH TEACHING
The Oral language is defined as short, fragmentally utterances by Brown and Yule
(1983) in Nunan (1989: 26). Unlike written language, it is usually unplanned and often
reflects the process of construction, such as hesitations, reduced forms, fillers, and repeats
(Richard, 2008: 3). In the Oral English instructions, the teacher should be able to provide
the natural language that is different from the written one. The oral English instruction
covers two major skills, those are teaching listening and speaking.
Listening can be perceived in two ways: listening as comprehension and listening
as acquisition. Listening as comprehension assumes that listening in second language
learning is to facilitate the understanding of the oral discourse. Two different processes can
be used in understanding spoken discourse: bottom-up processing and top-down
processing. The typical lesson in the developed instruction combined the two processing
types in three phases of listening: pre-listening, whiles-listening, and post listening. The
pre-listening involves students in activating the prior knowledge, making prediction, and
reviewing the key vocabulary. The while-listening focuses on comprehension to require
selective listening, sequencing, etc. The post-listening requires students to give opinion
about the topic (Richards, 2008: 3-10).
To provide a good listening activity, an effective listening course should be
conducted. David Nunan (Richard & Renandya, 2002:241) summarizes some
characteristics of effective listening activities, those are:
The materials should use the authentic texts for both of the dialogues and
Listening should be preceded by a schema-building/ background knowledge
The materials should incorporate the strategies for effective listening
The learners should be given chance to listen to the texts for several times and work
through increasingly challenging tasks.
Learners should know the aims and resons of their listening
The tasks should activate learners’ role in the instruction
The content of the materials should be personalised.
Together with the listening skill, speaking skill is also one important skill that
builds up the oral communication competence. In the communicative approach, where the
discourse level is used, speaking emphasizes the use of language above the sentence level
(Johnson and Morrow, 1981: 70). In fact, teaching speaking in EFL countries cannot be
conducted directly above the sentence level. So, the teaching of speaking in the classroom
must consider the students’ competence and not force them to be directly able to speak
TECHNOLOGIES IN ENGLISH LEARNING
There are some advantages of technologies in education as mentioned previously.
In accordance with those advantages, the language learning also make use of the
technology in the instruction. Related to the use of technology in the English learning,
Towndrow and Vallace (2004: 105) contend that the use of IT will work best in language
learning when it is conceived of and used as integrated component of a task. They believe
that technologies can add value to language learning tasks when it is used as a tool:
1. Making possible activities that could not be done as easily in the print-based
2. Allowing the digital media integration
3. Allowing greater flexibility in terms of the time and place of learning for students
4. Allowing to a wide range information access
5. Allowing for both the products and processes of learning focus
6. Allowing didactic material to be stored and recycled
7. Encouraging discussion and consultation
8. Providing a channel for feedback and assesment
9. Ignoring the unnecessary duplication of previously produced material
10. Saving time, over time
The technology use in the English classroom will also help teachers in providing
rich media. Rich media as learning product will incorporate the high-end media such as
video, animation, sound and simulation (Reiser & Dempsey, 2007: 312). Those media can
also be referred as multimedia, that is the combination of media. The media can be still
pictures, sound, motion video, animation, and/ or text items combined in a product with the
purpose of communicating information (Roblyer, 2003: 164).
There are five kinds of multimedia formats proposed in Robyler (2003: 164-5).
1. Commercial multimedia
These pre-packaged products are developed by software publishing company. They
offer various media, such as animation, video, audio adn links to the internet.
2. Commercial interactive videodisc packages
They are the storage medium of choice for full-motion video in combination with
text and still picture.
3. Authoring tool: presentation software
It primaruly a combination of text, still pictures and limited audio and animation. In
its development, it can embed video and audio.
4. Authoring tools: video production and editting
The tools enable users to produce digitized video and edit it.
5. Authoring tools: multimedia authoring system
The tools allow users to include many features in the products.
Digital Stories in Oral English Teaching
The digital storytelling actually is not a new concept. Lambert and the CDS have
provided training and assistance to people interested in creating and sharing their personal
narratives since the early 1990s (Center for Digital Storytelling, 2005). The process of
taking some series of still images and combining them with a narrated soundtract in a
digital story is a crucial component of digital storytelling. Further, James R. Skouge and
Kavita Rao (2009) contend that digital storytelling can make use of various techniques
including standard storytelling, audio and video recording, multimedia publication, and
shared “mediated” events. Digital storytelling can be used in many ways including as a
tool to promote self-reflection, to illustrate historical perspectives, to promote inquiry, and
as a method of technology integration and ongoing instruction. However, in the
educational use, any integration of technology should take place with careful preparation
and thought by teachers and students.
In order to create digital stories, there are seven elements should be taken into
account in doing digital storytelling, those are point of view, dramatic questions, emotional
content, the gift of your voice, the power of soundtrack, economy and pacing (Center for
Digital Storytelling, 2005). The seven elements are presented in Table 1 below:
Table 1. The Seven Elements of Digital Storytelling
The story’s point of view and the author’s
Point of View
a question that will be answered by the end of the
A Dramatic Question
serious issues that speak to the audience in a
personal and powerful way.
a way to personalize the story to help the audience
The Gift of your Voice
understand the context
music or other sounds that support the storyline.
The Power of the
simply put, using just enough content to tell the
story without overloading the viewer with too much
deals with how slowly or quickly the
The digital stories which are the results of digital storytelling above can be used to
introduce content and also capture students attention when teachers start presenting new
ideas. Burmark (2004) in Robin (2008) contends that the integration of the visual images
and written texts can enhance and accelerate students comprehension. Beside engaging
students, the digital stories as a media also can be used to facilitate discussion of the topic
presented in the story, help students to understand the abstract and conceptual content
Since digital stories will be in the form of movie, it has the characteristics of the
visual audio media. It can be said that digital stories can provide the benefit that can be
given by the video. Harmer (2001:282) mentions that videos in ELT classroom let the
students see the language in use, not only hear it, it will allow students to look far beyond
the classroom which full of cultural values. It can be inferred that digital stories are richer
than the audio tape, so the students can see the speakers whose body movements give
cluess to the meaning, the clothes they wear, the location etc.
In relation to the oral English teaching through task-based approach, digital stories
can accomodate the six component of tasks (Nunan, 2004: 40-73). The digital stories can
be used as the input of the instruction. For example: the teacher develop a set of digital
story with the goal of teaching Recount (monologue) to the Grade VIII students. In
developing this media, the teacher will be able to accomodate the input of the monologue
from the digital story then the activities following it. The teacher can vary the activities in
individually or group/ class work. Then there are certain roles that must be played by the
teacher such as the facilitator and manager of the class. During the teaching and learning
process, students can participate in the classroom.
The digital story also provides some benefits for the oral English teaching as
mentioned above. In line with the current “genre based’ curriculum, a digital story can be
aimed at teaching monologue with the type of text narrative and recount. It will also
provide the students with enough visual and audio input for doing the task. The setting of
the story can be close to the students real world to arise students attraction to the digital
story which results in the active participation of the students in the classroom.
A. Designing Digital Stories
There are some programmes that can be run to create digital stories. Those are: (1)
Microsoft Power Point; (2) Microsoft Photo Story; (3) Adobe Photoshop Elements; (4)
Windows Movie Maker; and some other programmes. In this article, the last programme
will be explained in detail. Window Movie Maker is a standard programme for Windows
which allows users to combine pictures and video footage together with text, music, and
naration into a digital video file (TESL-EJ, 2010).
There are some steps in digital storytelling using Movie Maker, those are as
1. Step one: import the pictures, audio and or video and place them
In this step, users can import the files consist of pictures, video or the
combination of both. First, click file and import file into collection (see Figure
1). Then, choose the files that are needed for the storytelling. The files needed
will appear in the collection (Figure 2). After that, drag the pictures and audio
and plot it into the timeline. The pictures can be arranged by dragging and
droping them into the other places (see Figure 3). The mp3 files for the audio
files are easier to use than the .wav. The phases are presented in Figure 1 to 3
Figure 1. Importing files
Figure 2. Choosing files
Figure 3. Dragging files
2. Step two: add the transitions, effects, and tittles or texts
After all of the files needed are dragged and dropped in the timeline, the
transition can be chosen by clicking collections, then video transition. There
are some transaion and effect styles that can be used, The transation and effect
should be dragged in the transation timeline as presented in Figure 4. The next
phase to give title of the video, click tools, then choose title and credit as in
Figure 5 and then decide the title styles of the product.
Figure 4. Transition and Effect
Figure 5. Adding tittles
3. Add the naration
To add more audio naration, Movie Maker can provide users with this
opportuniy. The computer should have the microphone. To give the naration to
the product, click on timeline/ storyline and click narate timeline, then start
narration as presented in Figure 6. By clicking the “start narration” botton, the
computer will record the voice.The marker will light in green when the quality
of the voice is good.
Figure 6. Adding narration
4. Publish the project
The last step after everything has been added is publishing the project. To
publish the result of digital storytelling, click Task, choose Finish Movie and
choose where the movie will be saved in the computer (See Figure 7).
Figure 7. Finishing the Movie
This paper has briefly discussed the digital story in oral English teaching. It starts
from the advantages of technologies in English instruction, the digital storytelling,
the seven elements of it, the digital stories in oral English teaching and designing
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