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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

K.C. Nat Turner

Second Advisor

John Francisco

Third Advisor

Yuki Yoshimura

Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Elementary Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development


The purpose of this mixed method research study is to investigate the educational effects of digital storytelling as a communicative language learning strategy in an EFL elementary school class in Korea. In order to find out the benefits and challenges of digital storytelling in EFL class, this study was conducted for 12 weeks in a rural elementary school. Digital storytelling was selected and utilized in the after-school English class, as main teaching and learning tool. Guiding research questions were 1) what are the potential benefits and challenges of digital storytelling for young EFL learners when it is employed in a rural context as a language learning activity? i. e.) the change of motivation, reading, writing, listening, speaking ability, and 2) What does the English teacher find to be benefits and challenges of using a digital storytelling as pedagogical strategies in Korean EFL classroom?. In order to answer those questions, a survey questionnaire on students’ learning attitude was distributed, and pre- and post-test were employed to investigate the difference in terms of the ability of reading, writing, listening and speaking over time. In addition, student’s reflective self-evaluation log, teacher’s lecture report, classroom observation and in/formal interviews with focal students and the teacher were also collected to figure out the factors which gave an influence to students and the teacher. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed based on the characteristics of each data set. The quantitative data results indicated that students show overall improvement in academic performance in terms of reading, writing, listening and speaking. In addition to English proficiency, the learning attitude and motivation toward English learning was elevated, followed by the increase of their critical, creative thinking, and digital literacy skills. The other results of qualitative data highlighted that the English teacher and students were satisfied with the learning experience with digital storytelling in that it played a key role in motivating the learning process and was an effective tool for active learning. To sum up, it seems clear that the digital storytelling activity, as integrated instructional strategy has the potential to shed light on helping EFL learners in a rural school to develop English skills as well as to change their learning attitude toward studying English. In addition, digital storytelling also increased skills other than academic skills related to learning English, and it also helped to improve students’ communicative ability, encouraging their collaboration, motivation and creativity to be heightened.