The Effect of Digital Stories on Enhancing Iranian Pre-intermediate EFL Learners' Listening Comprehension

Document Type: Research Paper


Department of English, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran


Learning a foreign language is a challenging process in which learners need motivation and encouragement through the use of modern techniques. The present paper investigates the effects digital stories may have on Iranian pre-intermediate EFL learners’ listening comprehension. To this end, the researchers carried out a quasi-experimental research in a language institution in Tabriz (Iran). In total, forty, 11-14-year-old female students participated in this research. Twenty students were in the experimental group and twenty in the control group. The Preliminary English Test (PET) was administered at the beginning of the study to check whether all participants were homogeneous in terms of English language proficiency. A pre-test of listening comprehension was designed to gather initial data on the learners' listening skill prior to the treatment. The experimental group was presented with digital stories in a technology-equipped classroom. After the treatment, a post-test was administered to both groups to test the learners' progression in listening comprehension. Then, using an ANCOVA test, the performance of two groups was compared.The findings indicated that the experimental group outperformed the control group in the final test. The results raise interesting issues related to the use of technology in the context of foreign language learning, substantiating the link between technology rich environment and improved language learning. 


Al-Hammadi, F. S. (2011). The effectiveness of using multimedia software in developingsome listening skills among Saudi secondary school students. Damascus University Journal, 27(3), 75-76.

Baddeley, A. D. (2003) Working memory and language: An overview. Journal of Communication Disorders, 36 (3), 189-208.

Bagui, S. (1998). Reasons for increased learning using multimedia. Journal ofEducational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 7, 3-18.

Barani, G. (2011). The relationship between computer assisted language learning (CALL) and listening skill of Iranian EFL learners. Procedia Social & Behavioral Science, 15, 4059-4063.

Brett, P. (1995). Multimedia for listening comprehension: The design of aMultimedia-based resource for developing listening skills. System, 23 (1), 77-85.

Brown, H. D. (1994). Principles of language learning and teaching. (3rd edition). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents.

Chang, K. (1991). CALL/IVD workstations: Towards a rationale for their use in cooperative learning environments. Language Learning & Technology, 2(1),101-109.

Daniels, L. (1995). Audio vision: Audio-visual interaction in desktop multimedia. System, 7(2), 47-50.

Elley, W. B. (2000). The potential of book floods for raising literacy levels.International Review of Education, 46(3/4), 233-255.

Farhady, H. (1995). Research Methods in Applied Linguistics (1&2). Tehran: Payame Noor University. 

Felix, U. (1995). Theatre interactive: Multimedia integration of language and literature. On-CALL, 9, 12-16.

Gunduz, N. (2006). Contributions of e-audiobooks to EFL listening classes. Journal of Faculty of Letters, 16, 249-259.

Kellerman, S. (1992). "I See What You Mean': The role of kinesicbehaviour inlistening and implications for foreign and second language learning. Applied linguistics, 13(3), 239-258

Koisawalia, S. (2005). Teaching vocabulary through rhythmic refrains. Journal ofEducational Psychology, 94, 22-33.

Mallan, K. (1997) ‘Storytelling in the school curriculum’, Educational Practice and Theory,19 (1), 75-82.

Mayer, R. (2005). Interactive multimodal learning environments. EducationalPsychology Review, 19, 309-326.

Meskill. C. (1996). Listening skills development through multimedia. Journal of Educational Multimedia, 6, 179-201.

Meskill, C. & Shea, P. (1994) Multimedia and language learning: Integrating the technology into existing curricula. Proceedings of the Third Conference onInstructional Technologies, State University of New York, FACT.

Park, H. (2011). A new approach toward digital storytelling: An activity focusedon writing self efficacy in a virtual learning environment. Educational Technology &Society, 14 (4), 181-191.

Reeves, T. C. (1998). The impact of media & technology in schools. A researchreport prepared for the Bertelsmann Foundation. Retrieved on December 11th 2011 fromhttp:// www.

Shrosbree, M., (2008). Digital video in the language classroom. The JALT CALL Journal, 4(1), 75-84.

Sweller, J. (2003). Evolution of human cognitive architecture. The Psychology of Learning & Motivation, 43, 215-266.

Van Scoter, J., Ellis, D., &Railsback, J. (2001). The impact of education technology on student  achievement. Retrieved on January 18th  2012 fromhttp:// www.

Verdugo, D. (2007). Using digital stories to improve listening  comprehension withSpanish young learners of English. Language Learning & Technology, 11(1), 87-101.

Wasik, B.A. & Bond, M.A. (2001). Beyond the pages of a book: Interactive readingand language development in preschool classrooms. Journal of EducationalPsychology, 93, 243-250.

Wright, A. (2000). Stories and their importance in language teaching. Humanizing Language Teaching, 2 (5), 1-6.