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Multimedia software for narrative creation in the learning of a foreign language Jeffrey Earp and Tania Giannetti ITD CNR Workshop on Narrative Learning.

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Presentation on theme: "Multimedia software for narrative creation in the learning of a foreign language Jeffrey Earp and Tania Giannetti ITD CNR Workshop on Narrative Learning."— Presentation transcript:

1 Multimedia software for narrative creation in the learning of a foreign language Jeffrey Earp and Tania Giannetti ITD CNR Workshop on Narrative Learning Environments Lisboa, 9-10 June 2005

2 Narrative has long played a key role in the learning of a foreign language as study material: adopting various representational codes and media (written, spoken, pictorial, multimedia and hypermedia) addressing different target groups:  story telling at primary level  graded readers at secondary level  literature at university level  language courses on CD-ROM for (adult) self study (“closed” software)

3 In communicative approaches to foreign language teaching, narrative is central in the development of communication skills : adoption of “communication-based” activities in which key vocabulary and/or notional and functional structures are to be employed - situated dialogues (information transfer) - role play and simulations - dramatizations attention is strongly focused on meaning and only subsequently shifts to form

4 Recent trends in the field of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) - Warschauer and Healey,1998  communicative CALL use of multimedia language learning environments for developing communication skills  integrative CALL shift from a cognitive view of communicative teaching to a more socio-cognitive view in CALL: possibility for “real” communication (CMC) and collaboration

5 Multimedia authoring software... “Open” software dedicated largely or wholly to the creation of material on the part of the user working individually or collaboratively. Among the many products that students can create with these programs are narratives e.g. “talking” storyboards, interactive stories, animated cartoons (2 and 3 dimensional), virtual dramatizations, etc.

6 ... for narrative creation Narrative is developed using tools and resources that are specifically designed to support the various phases of the creative process: planning a story outline constructing the locations and settings choosing/constructing characters and props directing the action and character interactions scripting/producing dialogue, in some cases through vocal recordings and/or text-to-speech generation integrating sound effects and/or music to enhance the sense of realism and produce a particular atmosphere

7 Software examples Story Maker 2 (SPA Software, 2003) Kar2ouche Composer (Immersive Education Ltd., 2003) Media Stage (Immersive Education Ltd., 2004) Theatrelab (, 2004) D.Film Moviemaker V2.0 DFilm (

8 Story Maker 2 SPA Software

9 Story Maker 2 interactive scenes/stories with animations, and linear or hypermedia structure (primary school) developing narrative by working with a palette of visual/sound components, animating them and forming interactions (network of links) embedding interactivity – producing for an audience storybook format – page turning hypermedia structure – co-operative narrative development personalisation– pictures, videos, sounds content from English- and French-speaking contexts dual language text-to-speech in various combinations (inc. ESOL) voice recording & customizable TTS for dialogue text/sound tags that identify the elements in the story (vocabulary)

10 Kar2ouche Composer Immersive Education

11 Kar2ouche Composer talking storyboards, comic strips & stories with 3D images ( lower secondary school +) format for producing linear still-frame“movies” for playback particularly suitable for dialogues & simulated role-plays: - library of characters (inc. historic & fantasy figures) with wide range of poses & gestures (interpersonal communication) - 4 track audio with slidebar editing opportunities for developing both written & oral skills - dialogue with speech/thought balloons, captions, text box - voice recording (plus dialogue library, imported audio files) - templates for producing printed stories personalisation - import backdrops and sounds advanced controls for scaling, layering and positioning story elements

12 Media Stage Immersive Education

13 Media Stage

14 Media Stage

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22 suited to project-based learning (virtual movie making) potential for collaborative work – variety of creative roles useful for engaging and motivating visually-oriented learners (set design, lighting, camera direction, action) “directing” virtual characters focuses on emotional states and language - selecting emotional state & behaviour (programmed), pose/gesture - creating movements, speech development of written skills (dialogues/subtitles) and oral skills (voice recording/text-to-speech with automatic lip synch) Media Stage short 3D animated films with “director” functionalities (secondary school+)

23 Theatrelab

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33 Theatrelab multimedia authoring platform coupled with portable theatre for creating and staging digital/live theatre performances (primary school+) blending of multimedia narrative development with traditional “live” performance, supported by computer-based components (audio, subtitles) suitable for collaborative project-based work: draw on, develop and share existing play kits (script, sets, characters, dialogue, music, sound effects, etc) produced professionally or by other users. narrative developed through interaction in studio environment and/or script designed for multilingual/multicultural projects – multilingual interface and subtitles opportunities for developing written skills (script) & oral skills (voice recording of narration and dialogue) personalisation of kit elements

34 D.Film Moviemaker DFilm









43 D.Film Moviemaker useful for enhancing student engagement & motivation - quick and easy creation of narratives based on short text dialogues - possibility to exchange works by e-mail development of written skills only limited scope & flexibility for narrative development

44 The learning opportunities provided by narrative-based software [1/2] bringing creativity to the learning of a foreign language through intuitive construction of stories beginning with the basic elements (scenes, characters, props, etc.). strong stimulus and meaningful context for target language use interaction with images, facilitating young language learners’ comprehension

45 The learning opportunities provided by narrative- based software [2/2] engaging with peers, helping to support each other and extend language skills (Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development) working co-operatively in a group effort in which each individual can contribute in a way that best suits him or her (Gardner's Multiple Intelligences), thus fostering motivation facilitating participation and decision making in the creative process through provisionality (trying out alternatives without risking "damage" to the final product) overcoming inhibition regarding classroom performance

46 Teaching opportunities provided by narrative- based software bringing project-based student-centred learning to the language classroom monitoring student activity by comparing the different versions of a story, dialogue, etc. that emerge from successive work sessions recognizing the target language issues arising, which can be analysed and addressed at an opportune moment

47 Critical aspects in adopting multimedia narrative in the language learning classroom choosing the most suitable program, particularly in terms of language goals, types of learners involved and the roles they are to assume ensuring that narrative production forms part of a well defined path that sets students clear language learning objectives

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