Investigating the effectiveness of the Our Story App to increase children’s narrative skills: Lessons learnt from one English preschool classroom

Kucirkova, Natalia; Messer, David J. and Sheehy, Kieron (2019). Investigating the effectiveness of the Our Story App to increase children’s narrative skills: Lessons learnt from one English preschool classroom. In: Veneziano, Edy and Nicolopoulou, Ageliki eds. Narrative, Literacy and Other Skills: Studies in intervention. Studies in Narrative (25). John Benjamins, pp. 265–281.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/sin.25.12kuc

Abstract

This chapter outlines a classroom-based intervention which consisted of using the Our Story iPad app to improve children’s narrative skills with a group of 30 English preschoolers for a period of six months. Children’s narrative skills were measured using a story retelling task with the wordless picture book Frog, Where Are You? (Mayer, 1992) and a personal story generation task. Children’s narrations were analyzed with a simplified version of the High Point Analysis framework that focused on the pragmatic features of children’s narratives, including orientation, evaluation and appendages. Results indicated that children’s narrative skills showed an increase in the number of words and an increase in the use of orienting and supplementary information. A range of qualitative observations showed changes in teachers’ plans and attitude towards the use of new technologies in the classroom setting. In addition, several issues were noted which were related to the challenges resulting from the practical implementation of a new technology in a busy classroom.

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