Digital Storytelling I - English as a Second Language Composition: Video Transcript

Felice Marcus [ESL Composition Instructor]: The program [ENG 109] that the English department offers is a composition program, which runs parallel to the composition program for U.S. students. The difference between our classes and the classes that the U.S. students take is more cultural exchange. We talk more about culture, about the things that the students are noticing about America. The texts might be things that are classic American works that they might not be familiar with but that U.S. students are very familiar with.

What motivated me to do this particular story, this particular assignment, which is a digital story — a personal story and a narrative — is because I know that they have so much to tell, which would be fascinating to the Miami community and to the U.S. audience. So, learning about a relationship that happened in high school, in China, which might have a different history to it than a relationship that a U.S. student would have in high school. And also the changing of a relationship when you decide to study abroad and then there's this distance between you. So I knew that they had personal stories that I'd like to get out, that I'd like them to be able to get out. So it was living history to hear what the students experienced growing up. So I was expecting that and the students' stories exceeded my expectations in really revealing these neat stories that they had to tell.

For me, because I've been working in the computer field for a long time and working with technology, that's just a natural part of writing — websites and video and YouTube® and that kind of thing — that's writing for the students on an everyday basis. They're reading from the web. They're responding to written texts that are on the web. They're responding to video. So, it's a natural part of their literacy. So I automatically incorporated it into my syllabus because that's a part of the literacy that they're experiencing in their everyday lives.

[April 2010]