H. Obari, J. Pagel, S. Lambacher

Aoyama Gakuin University (JAPAN)
The main focus of this paper is to report on the use of digital storytelling and blog activities to make CALL classes more dynamic and personalized for both teachers and learners. For this purpose, web-based resources with Web 2.0 tools and mobile computing technologies are integrated to promote collaborative learning activities. The presenter will touch upon on several empirical studies that take advantage of the cyber community where 1) Learning Management Systems (LMS), 2) Blogs, 3) Digital Storytelling, and 4) Mobile Computing are all used to teach language and communication. Digital storytelling includes the process of story creation with the impact of pictures and sounds, and can be transferable, storable, and accessible in order to create communities where people can share goals, experiences, and teach each other what they have learned. Students can reflect upon what they have learned and create a social network of shared experience using blogs. Software and devices that can be employed are extensive: iMovie, Movie Maker, PowerPoint, Photo shop, iPhoto, Mobile phones, iPods, iPads, digital cameras, etc. Students can learn how to use emerging digital technology effectively, creatively, and wisely. The process of making a digital story helps students to promote better linguistic and paralinguistic skills, and enhances their vocabulary, improve writing, reading, and speaking efficiency. Rhetorical skills also can be improved by concentrating on the writing process with a sense of audience, and by focusing on the elements of effective discourse. A secondary goal of the study is to examine the effectiveness of blended learning in improving English language proficiency, including presentation skills. For this purpose, data from recent empirical studies will be presented, including results from the Computerized Assessment System for English Communication (CASEC), which show that students’ English proficiency improved after being exposed to blended learning.