Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


Date of this Version

Summer 6-2011


A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Teaching Learning & Teacher Education, Under the Supervision of Professor Jenelle Reeves. Lincoln, Nebraska: June 2011

Copyright 2011 Megan J. McElfresh


Thanks to the developing technology of digital storytelling, English Language Learner teachers at Maple Elementary may have a potential answer to help 2nd grade students with their growth in English and connection to school. The questions that guided this inquiry into digital storytelling in the ELL classroom were the following: Are there particular benefits to ELLs in digital storytelling? Do ELL students see connections through the digital storytelling process to their growth as a writer and role in the school community? Research has previously shown the success of ELL students is strongly linked to the instruction they receive and sense of connection they feel in schools with peers and teachers. The art of storytelling and its role in learning is far from new, but digital storytelling with the use of iMovie is a new introduction to instruction in schools. Through creating and sharing digital stories in the ELL classroom at Maple Elementary, themes of joy and humility, originality, vocabulary and fluency, risk taking skills, and motivation and connection to school emerged. Problems and challenges with the digital storytelling process included student attitudes and the unpredictability of technology. Overall, there were multiple linguistic and socio-emotional benefits to digital storytelling in the classroom and its role as a teaching tool in the future looks bright.

Advisor: Jenelle Reeves