Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Wessels, S, & Trainin, G. (2020). Digital storytelling with English language learning families. In G. Onchwari & J. Keengwe (Eds.), Bridging family-teacher relationships for ELL and immigrant students (pp.27-45). Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing.


Copyright © 2020 Wessels, S, & Trainin, G.


In this chapter, we examine the design process and outcomes of a digital storytelling with elementary-aged English Language Learning Families. The program was iterated through a multi-step design process to integrate the use of digital storytelling on mobile devices with family literacy. In this chapter, we explain why adults and children needed worktime separately before they collaborate and that a focus on funds of language, culture and relevance foster willingness to engage with digital literacy. In working with English Language Learning Families, we found the following themes: when it comes to schooling, everything is in English; confidence in learning about technology, literacy and storytelling; and coexistence (spending time together). This chapter examines that the power and availability of mobile technologies, coupled with the traditions of storytelling, can transform language and literacy outcomes.