Meaningful Experiences: Universal Themes and Quotes in Reflective Storytelling

Proceedings of The 5th World Conference on Future of Education

Year: 2022



Meaningful Experiences: Universal Themes and Quotes in Reflective Storytelling

William Collins



Japanese high-school English instruction has often been criticized for focusing on rote memorization of grammar patterns and vocabulary. The emphasis in high-school classrooms on preparing students for standardized university entrance exams leaves little opportunity for students to practice speaking on open-ended topics or use English to reflect on their own experiences. The author sought to address this imbalance and give students the opportunity to increase their L2 (second language) production and engage in self-reflection through discussion of meaningful personal experiences. The current study concerns a pilot study on the efficacy of storytelling, pair-recording, peer-feedback and quote-selection activities in increasing student L2 production, and improving students’ confidence in and enjoyment of speaking and listening in English. Conducted over the course of one semester in freshman English Communication classes at Nagasaki University’s Center for Foreign Language Studies, the study focused on three activities: storytelling and pair-recording, peer-feedback and quote-selection. The study analyzes transcripts of students’ video-talks and feedback, interpretations of quotes’ relevance the stories, and student survey results on the key components of the study. The findings suggested that the students L2 production increased through because the peer-feedback, and quotes increased online interaction between classmates, and deepened students’ reflection as to the meaning of their stories. In student surveys students reported that the storytelling and pair recording activities helped them enjoy English more, improve their speaking and listening skills and notice storytelling outside of class. Students also reported that they enjoyed giving and receiving video feedback, and that the feedback improved both their stories and their communication.

keywords: Storytelling, peer-feedback, universal themes, quote-selection and interpretation