1. Meissa SAMBA

    Thank you Robert for your response to this great paper. Even though it talks about the EFL learners, its content is also true for the acquisition of any other language. Being a practitioner of TPRS in my foreign language class I found what you have shared here to be very valuable. Indeed TPRS is a combination of Dr. Asher’s TPR method and Dr. Krashen’s strategies that seek to eliminate the affective filter and make the learners enjoy the learning process more. Dr. Krashen’s method, mainly the PQ&A (Personal Questions & Answers) component of TPRS, helps me make my students feel a relevance between what they are learning and their lives. That keeps them interested, engaged, and learning. Like yourself I see that adding digital storytelling will add a lot of value in my teaching.

    • Robert

      Hi Meissa,
      I agree that making the connection between what is being learned and the learner’s life is key. I will have to learn more about TPRS and thank you for the reference, as learning to use the language is more engaging than learning about the language.

  2. Karen

    Interesting article Robert. Makes me wonder if this is why I was never able to fully a learn a foreign language. Throughout my life I have studied 4 different languages, yet never felt like I was really learning any of them. I still retain a few phrases, but certainly nothing that would help me if I were to be dropped in a foreign country with no access to english speakers!

    I hope you continue to post after this class and keep us informed about how incorporating digital storytelling in your teaching helps your students.

    • Robert

      Hi Karen,
      My most successful attempt was with Japanese. I was managing Japanese speaking technicians and construction workers. They accepted my many errors and were happy that at least one of the U.S. managers was attempting their language. We played a great deal with my Japanese and basically made a game of it. It was a very relaxed environment, which I always felt was the key to my learning basic Japanese.

  3. Heather Schelt

    Hi Robert,
    This is a really interesting topic. I took spanish in high school and in undergrad, I can see how the affective filter can interfere when learning a new language. This has to be especially challenging when teaching students a new language as well.

    • Robert

      Hi Heather,
      I do indeed accept the affective filter hypothesis and argue that anxiety absolutely hinders one’s learning of any material. I hope that I am able to gather the tools required to create a low-stress environment and then I can personally test the hypothesis. Thanks!

  4. Hello Robert,

    Thank you for sharing your review and thoughts. I would have to agree with your idea that learner anxiety is present among students. I think creating an environment where the student feels engaged and comfortable is key. To do this, we can incorporate digital stories as a way of presenting information and also a way for the students to tell their stories. I always feel better about my learning when I can take the subject and apply it to something familiar. Students can use digital storytelling to comprehend the new information and also reflect on both the new experience and past experiences they have had.

    • Robert

      Hi Kendra,
      Thanks for the comment and for sharing your thoughts on learning. I believe that comfort is key, hence I am working on ways to become more comfortable as an EFL teacher so that I might help my students become more comfortable and engaged learners.

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