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Discourse Analysis Journal Review #8
Name: It’s Story Time!: Exploring the Potential of Multimodality in Oral Storytelling to Support Children’s Vocabulary Learning
Author: Soe Marlar Lwin
Source: Literacy, v50 n2 p72-82 Apr 2016. 11 pp.
This article examines the use of visual and vocal features as a way to introduce new vocabulary during oral storytelling in children’s education.
The study begins with the data of two video-recorded storytelling sessions conducted in English by two professional storytellers to an audience of 4 to 5 year old children. The story was told without the use of a book, toys, or props. And both storytellers used only spoken words, modulation of voice, various body gestures, and facial expressions.
The source material used in the storytelling session was submitted to the VocabProfile computer software to check the rarity of the words used in the material. The results showed that they contain 74.64% and 74.49% respectively of the most frequently used 1000 words (K1 words).
The video was then transcribed and submitted to VocabProfiler computer software to be analyzed, and they show that 94.03% and 87.9% of the words in the transcript are K1 words.
Afterwards, the words which appeared in the video that is unlikely to be known to children were identified and compiled in a list. The list was then sent to four 1st grade teachers with at least three years of teaching experience. They concluded that there are 18 words that are likely to be unknown vocabulary for seven year olds, which is the primary age for 1st graders.
They then analyze the gestures used by the story tellers when they utter the unknown words, and wrote down the list vocal features such as difference in volume, pitch and stress, and the list of visual features such as gestures or facial expressions as illustration.
The article concludes that by showing the effectiveness in using voice modulation and/or well-coordinated gestures, hopefully teachers can use multimodality features to support vocabulary learning for children.