Promoting Vocabulary Building, Learning Motivation, and Cultural Identity Representation through Digital Storytelling for Young Indonesian Learners of English as a Foreign Language

Document Type : Original Article


1 English Department, Universitas 17 Agustus 1945 Banyuwangi, Indonesia

2 English education department

3 Dean Learning and Teaching


Digital Storytelling (DST) is a globally accepted approach in teaching English. However, in the Indonesian EFL context, little attention has been paid to DST as a pedagogical approach, particularly its potential to create a bridge between the students’ primary culture and that of English cultures. We report on how DST helped Indonesian junior-school students make meaning in English through a local culture-based DST narrative project. As part of a case study approach, we used various qualitative data collection methods, including focus group interviews, students' reflective journals, classroom observations, and the DST product itself. Finally, multimodal transcription and thematic content analysis were used to interpret the data. The study shows that the digital story is an effective tool to express the students' identity and make meaning through their local culture stories. Participating in these activities also increased student motivation. Working collaboratively in a group helped them to make meaning and focus on topics that resonated with them personally, reduced stress, and allowed them to focus on communication. Drawing on their local culture also assisted to build a bridge between the familiar lexical content and terminology and the less familiar English cultural content and vocabulary, resulting in enhanced engagement and achievement in English. Practically, the DST project-based learning assisted EFL teachers to integrate authentic and communicative learning experiences into a packed curriculum.