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Home Journal Index 2024-1

Teaching the Use of Multimodal Resources in Speaking through Storytelling

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Soe Marlar Lwin

Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore



In teaching speaking to learners of English, one of the most challenging aspects for teachers to teach and learners to acquire is the appropriate and effective use of interactional resources. Interactional resources in spoken interaction include linguistic features (e.g. formulaic phrases for opening or closing a conversation, discourse markers for initiating or maintaining a topic or a turn), as well as non-linguistic multimodal resources such as vocal features (e.g. pitch, pace, pause, volume, inflection and tone) and visual features (gestures, facial expressions, etc.). This study focuses on the use of multimodal resources in spoken interaction, and examines how a professional oral storyteller conducted storytelling lessons at a Primary school in Singapore to coach a class of Primary Three learners (8-to-9-year-old pupils) on the use of multimodal resources in speaking for aesthetic and communicative purposes. The study did a qualitative analysis of the six storytelling lessons conducted by the storyteller, particularly focusing on the activities included in each of the six lessons and relevant excerpts of the storyteller’s interaction with the learners recorded during these lessons. The findings highlight the benefits as well as limitations of using such storytelling lessons by professional or trained storytellers to raise learners’ awareness of multimodal resources in oral communication and to help them develop skills in using these resources. Based on the findings, suggestions are given on how classroom teachers can collaborate with professional or trained storytellers and incorporate storytelling lessons to teach the use of multimodal resources in speaking.



Teaching speaking, storytelling, multimodal, oral communication, spoken interaction