I chose to critique the digital story “Ethnolinguistic Profile: Self-study of a Multilingual Person” as it was attached to the scholarly article that I responded to this week, which was “Digital Storytelling: Using Different Technologies for EFL.” Christiansen and Koelzer (2016) included it as an example of a student-produced, compelling, digital story. Another reason for choosing it is the fact that it addresses L2 learning and ethnolinguistic issues that frequently arise, and all too often hamper language learning. Teaching EFL is my professional focus and this digital story addresses some of my concerns with L2 learning environments.
I found this digital story quite well done and therefore find it difficult to critique. Added to this is the fact that I have never produced a digital story, which makes it doubly difficult to review, and/or criticize another’s fine effort. That said, this assignment requires that I examine and review a digital story, so critique I will.
This digital story appears to have been produced using MS PowerPoint, or another slide show presentation application. The graphics, photos, and text are added to the slides, and then the narration is later overlaid. The completed slide show is then exported in video format, which is one of the most straightforward ways to produce a digital story, and in this case, it worked quite well.
The video runs for six minutes and thirty seconds and I found it a bit long. I’m not certain where it should be cut, but possibly some of the language examples that are presented could be simplified, which would reduce the overall run time. I noted that the audio track levels vary between some of the slides, and maintaining similar levels would also improve the production. The background level of the music track could also be increased, although I prefer background music that is too low, versus music that overpowers the narrator.
I truly appreciate the images that were used in this production and found that they definitely supported the story. I do indeed understand why Christiansen and Koelzer (2016) included it as a successful example of a student-produced digital story.