Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 11. Number1 March 2020                                       Pp. 270-281

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Digital Storytelling as a Communicative Language Teaching Based Method in EFL


Haifa Mohammed Al-Amri
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Faculty of Education, University of Bisha,
Bisha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia



Communicative language teaching has emerged in second and foreign language pedagogy due to the inadequacy of previous language teaching methods to enhance English as a foreign language (EFL) learners’ communicative competence. However, old language teaching methods, mainly, grammar-translation and audio-lingual, are still prevalent in EFL contexts. One of the reasons behind EFL teachers’ hesitance to shift entirely to communicative language teaching (CLT) is the absence of clear guidance, including examples for classroom activities appropriate for this approach. Thus, the aim of this study is, first, to bridge this gap by suggesting digital storytelling as a classroom activity that is well-aligned with the principles of the communicative language approach. Second, to assess the effectiveness of digital storytelling activity on improving some linguistic aspects of students’ communicative competence. To this end, the study incorporated a case study design using multiple qualitative methods such as participant observation, semi-structured interviews and analysis of participants’ scripts and recordings to measure the improvement, if any. Participants were a class of 32 10th graders who collaboratively created five digital stories over 12 weeks. Results showed students’ favourable views to digital storytelling activity, particularly the ample opportunities it creates for communication inside the classroom. As for communicative competence, improvement in phonology, grammar, and lexicon were the most notable. Finally, suggestions for effective integration and possible future research venues based on these findings are provided.
Keywords: communicative competence, communicative language teaching, digital storytelling, EFL context

Cite as: Al-Amri, H. M. (2020). Digital Storytelling as a Communicative Language Teaching Based Method in EFL Classrooms. Arab World English Journal, 11 (1) 270-281.


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Haifa Al-Amri is a PhD researcher in TESOL at Curtin University in Western Australia and is
an assistant lecturer at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in Bisha University, Saudi
Arabia. She earned her master’s degree in TESOL from Edgewood College in U.S.A.