Can digital storytelling enhance learning motivation for EFL students with low proficiency and confidence in English?


  • Naoko Kasami J. F. Oberlin University



motivation, low proficiency, English as a Foreign Language (EFL), non-English major


The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a digital storytelling assignment on English learning motivation of non-English major students with low proficiency and confidence in English in Japan.  The participants of this study were non-English major students in Japan who studied in four courses of English as a Foreign Language (EFL).  Each course was 15 weeks long and was held in the spring and fall terms of 2018. The study goal of the course was to acquire skills and knowledge to present ideas and messages effectively with the use of information communications and technology (ICT) and English. Three (pre-, midterm- and post-) questionnaires were employed to collect the necessary data. The results of the three questionnaires and two tests were received from 65 students.  This research focused on 27 students with low proficiency and confidence in English as determined by the results of the pre-questionnaire and pre-test.  The analysis of the data showed that the digital storytelling assignment could enhance learning motivation for most participants with low proficiency and confidence in English.  Most students with low proficiency and confidence in English in this course also felt confident about conducting a digital storytelling assignment in English. 


Download data is not yet available.


Abdel-hack, E. M., & Helwa, A. A. (2014). Using digital storytelling and weblogs instruction to enhance EFL narrative writing and critical thinking skills among EFL majors at faculty of education. International Research Journal, 5(1): 8–41.

Baturay, M., Daloglu, A. & Yildirim, S. (2010). Language practice with multimedia supported web-based grammar revision material. ReCALL, 22(3): 313–331.

Castañeda, M. E. (2013). “I am proud that I did it and it's a piece of me”: Digital storytelling in the foreign language classroom, CALICO Journal, 30(1): 44–62.

Chang, M. M., & Lehman, J. D. (2002). Learning foreign language through an interactive multimedia program: An experimental study on the effects of the relevance component of the ARCS model. CALICO Journal, 20(1): 81–89.

Dörnyei, Z. (2001). Teaching and Researching Motivation. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

Dörnyei, Z. (2005). The psychology of the language learner: Individual differences in second language acquisition. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

Dörnyei, Z. (2007). Creating a motivating classroom environment. In Cummins, J. & Davison, C. (Eds.), International handbook of English language teaching, 2, New York: Springer, 719–731.

Kasami, N. (2014). The impacts of a digital storytelling assignment on non-English-major students’ motivation for learning English in a Japanese university. In L. Liu & D. Gibson (Eds), Research highlights in technology and teacher education. Waynesville: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), 91–100.

Kasami, N. (2017). The comparison of the impact of storytelling and digital storytelling assignments on students’ motivations for learning. Proceedings of the EUROCALL 2017 Conference. CALL in a climate of change: adapting to turbulent global conditions. University of Southampton, 23–26 August.,

Keller, J.M. (1983). Motivational design of instruction. In C. M. Reigeluth (ed.), Instructional design theories and models: An overview of their current status, Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 383–434.

Keller, J. M. (1987). Development and use of the ARCS model of instructional design. Journal of Instructional Development, 10(3): 2–10.

Keller, J. M. (2010). Motivational design for learning and performance: The ARCS model approach. New York: Springer.

Kikuchi, K. (2013). Demotivators in the Japanese EFL context. In Apple, M. T., Silva, D. D. & Fellner, T. (eds.), Language Learning Motivation in Japan, Bristol: Multilingual Matters, 206–224.

Liu, C. C., Wang, P. C. & Tai, S. J. D. (2016). An analysis of student engagement patterns in language learning facilitated by Web 2.0 technologies. ReCALL, 28(2): 104–122.

Macaro, E., Handley, Z. & Walter, C. (2012). A systematic review of CALL in English as a second language: Focus on primary and secondary education. Language Teaching, 45(1): 1–43.

Morizumi, M. (2019). The opening article, “Eigo no Jugyo de kotoba heno kiduki wo” [English language lessons for developing language awareness], The new English classroom 598, Tokyo: New English Teachers’ Association. (in Japanese)

Ohler, J. B. (2013). Digital storytelling in the classroom: New media pathways to literacy, learning, and creativity. Corwin Press.

Oskoz, A. & Elola, I. (2016). Digital stories: Bringing multimodal texts to the Spanish writing classroom. ReCALL, 28(3): 326–342.

Ribeiro, S. (2015). Digital storytelling: An integrated approach to language for the 21st century student. Teaching English with Technology, 15(2): 39–53.

Robin, B. (2006). The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling. Proceedings of SITE 2006, 709–716. Orlando, Florida: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Song, S. H. & Keller, J. M. (2001). Effectiveness of motivationally adaptive computer-assisted instruction on the dynamic aspects of motivation. Educational Technology, Research and Development, 49(2): 5–22.

StoryCenter Website, Digital Storytelling for Educators. (Last accessed: January 22, 2021)

Suzuki, K., Nishibuchi, A., Yamamoto, M., & Keller, J. M. (2004). Development and evaluation of website to check instructional design based on the ARCS motivation model. Information and Systems in Education, 2(1): 63–69.






Reflective practice papers