Making space for learners' languages

6.2. Critical Connections: Multilingual digital storytelling

Anderson, J. and Macleroy, V. (2014)

This multilingual digital storytelling research established a new model for learning across school, home and community contexts drawing in particular on the diverse languages and cultures that are part of children's broader literacy experiences.

By integrating multimodality, multilingualism and intertextuality the digital stories transformed the traditional act of simply reading a self-contained text to a more complex activity involving reading, watching, listening, sharing and actively interacting. Furthermore it provided an opportunity to see how "re-mediating" stories in a digital space can create knowledge networks around them in a way that potentially enriches the stories and enhances the knowledge transfer. A key concern of this research is with learner empowerment, identity construction and active citizenship.

The learning community created through the sharing of stories across languages and cultures had a transformative and empowering effect for both teachers and students and affirmed the importance of an interlingual and intercultural approach to literacy. Part of this broader approach has shown the value of creating critical connections and opening up spaces which cross traditional learning borders. The Handbook for Teachers is aimed at educators wishing to develop work in the area of multilingual digital storytelling. It provides clear guidance on ways in which multilingual digital storytelling can be implemented:

It recognises the value of young people creating their own bilingual digital stories based on personal experience and their own voice: