Using storytelling in distance learning: Beliefs, online tools, and experiences of teachers within the context of school lockdown

La narración de historias en la enseñanza virtual: percepciones, herramientas digitales y experiencias en la escuela primaria durante el confinamiento


  • Mireia Canals-Botines Universidad de Vic-universidad central de Catalunya, Catalunya, España
  • Núria Medina-Casanovas Universidad de Vic-universidad central de Catalunya, Catalunya, España
  • Ángel Raluy-Alonso Universidad de Vic-universidad central de Catalunya, Catalunya, España
  • Miquel Pujol-Tubau Universidad de Vic-universidad central de Catalunya, Catalunya, España


Palabras clave:

Storytelling, language learning, distance education, teachers’ beliefs


Storytelling is claimed to be an engaging educational tool for young learners. There is abundant literature, which highlights the importance of storytelling as a memorable vehicle in language learning (Cameron, 2001; Kim, 2010) that promotes meaningful language use (Magid, 2013). Teachers’ beliefs also play a very important role in education because they determine the methods that lie behind the delivery of lessons. Storytelling is no exception and the extent of its implementation is based on the conviction that it is a powerful learning instrument (Utami, 2016). The COVID pandemic has accelerated the implementation of distance learning in primary education and has tested the effectiveness of telling stories online. The aim of the present study is to explore the relationship between teachers’ beliefs and their implementation of digital tools for English as a foreign language teaching and particularly for storytelling in the framework of a school lockdown. The instrument for data collection is an online structured questionnaire that was partially answered by 54 Catalan Primary School teachers and fully completed by 32 educators. The findings seem to indicate that despite lack of training and a number of challenges, both technical and pedagogical, online tools have been extensively used to promote language learning and to read stories to children.


Los datos de descargas todavía no están disponibles.


Alkaaf, F. (2017). Perspectives of learners and teachers on implementing the storytelling strategy as a way to develop story writing skills among middle school students. Cogent Education, 4(1), 1-23.

Alghanmi, B., & Shukri, N. (2016). The relationship between teachers’ beliefs of grammar instruction and classroom practices in the Saudi context. English Language Teaching, 9(7), 70-86.

Ashrafa, H., Motlaghb, F.G., & Salami, M. (2014). The Impact of Online Games on Learning English Vocabulary by Iranian (Low-intermediate) EFL Learners. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, (98), 286-291.

Allsop, Y., Yeniman Yildirim, E., & Screpanti, M. (2003). Teachers’ beliefs about game based learning: A comparative study of pedagogy, curriculum and practice in Italy.

Bedir, H. (2010). Teachers’ beliefs on strategies based instruction in EFL classes of young learners. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, (2), 5208-5211.

Blass, R. (2009). Alma.

Borg, M. (2001). Key concepts in ELT: Teachers’ beliefs. ELT Journal, 55(2), 186-188.

Borg, S. (2003). Teacher cognition in language teaching: A review of research on what language teachers think, know, believe, and do. Language Teaching, 36(2), 81-109.

Brown, E. (1994). Handa’s Surprise. Candlewick Press.

Cameron, L. (2001). Teaching languages to young learners. Cambridge University Press.

Canals-Botines, M. (2020). Teaching Narrative Structures to Students majoring in Pre-School and Primary Education. Studi sulla Formazione/Open Journal of Education, 23(1), 175-186.

Canals-Botines, M. (2018). Una aproximación a las estructuras narrativas. Giugno.

Caplan, D., & Graham, R. (2008). The development of online courses. In: Anderson, T. (Ed.). Theory and practice of online learning (245-265). University Press.

Carle. E. (1969). The very hungry caterpillar. World Publishing Company.

Chowdury, K., & Rasid, M. (2014). Classroom Interaction: Tension between Belief and Practice, A Case Study of a University Teacher. Global Journal of Human-Social Science: G Linguistics & Education, 14(3), 1-23.

Dagarin, M., Skela, J., & Kovac, P. (2013). A Study of the Use of Narratives in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Young Learners. English Language Teaching, (6), 21-28.

Donaldson, J. (1999). The Gruffallo. Macmillan.

Dujmovic, M. (2006). Storytelling as a Method of EFL Teaching. Pergendira Journal, (3), 111-126.

Ellis, G., & Brewster, J. (1991). The storytelling handbook for primary teachers. Penguin.

Farrell, T.S., & Lim, P.C.P. (2005). Conceptions of grammar teaching: A case study of teachers' beliefs and classroom practices. TESL-EJ, 9(2), 1-25.

Felip, Falcó, R. (2016). In-service teacher training to empower 2.0 CLIL teachers. CLIL+Science: New Directions in Content and Language Integrated Learning for Science and Technology. University of Navarra, 46-49.

Felipe, S. (2009). The Summit.

Gao, Y.L., Wang, F.Y., Lee S.Y. (2020) The effects of three different storytelling approaches on the vocabulary acquisition and response patterns of young EFL students. Language Teaching Research.

Gary, W. (2002). Satisfaction, academic rigor and interaction: Perception of online instruction. Education Journal, 125(3), 460-468.

Gómez Combariza, C. M., Rodríguez Chapetón, M. X. R. & Rojas Rincón, V.A. (2013). Social Values Reflections Through the Use of EFL Storytelling: An Action Research with Primary Students. HOW Journal, 20(1), 73-89.

Gürsoy, G. (2021). Digital Storytelling: Developing 21st Century Skills in Science Education. European Journal of Educational Research, 10(1), 97-113.

Hadar, L.L., Ergas, O., Alpert, B., & Ariav, T. (2020) Rethinking teacher education in a VUCA world: Student teachers’ social-emotional competencies during Covid-19 crisis. Eur.J.Teach.Educ., (43), 573-586.

Hendrickson, J. M. (1992). Storytelling for foreign language learners.

Huang, R.H., Liu, D.J., Tlili, A., Yang, J.F., & Wang, H.H. (2020). Handbook on Facilitating Flexible Learning During Educational Disruption: The Chinese Experience in Maintaining Undisrupted Learning in COVID-19 Outbreak. Beijing: Smart Learning. Institute of Beijing Normal University.

Ioannou-Georgiou, S., & Verdugo, M.D. (2011). Stories as a tool for teaching and learning in CLIL. Guidelines for CLIL Implementation in primary and pre-primary education, (14), 2-35.

Jones, T. E., Linder, R.J., Murphy, H.T., & Dooley, K. (2005). Faculty philosophical position towards distance education: Competency, value, and educational technology support. Journal of Distance Learning Administration Contents, 2(1), 1-10.

Kim, M. (2010). The effects of storytelling on adult English language learners. Linguistic Research, 27(3), 447-473.

Kim, D., Coenraad, M., & Park, H. R. (2021). Digital storytelling as a tool for reflection in virtual reality projects. Journal of Curriculum Studies Research, 3(1), 101-121.

King, C. H., & Nash, C. P. (2011). Bilingual Teacher Beliefs and Practice: Do They Line Up. Gist Education and Learning Research Journal, (5), 66-83.

Koutsompou, V.I. (2015). The Use of Literature in the Language Classroom: Methods and Aims. International Journal of Information and Education Technology, (5), 74-79.

Kuzborska, I. (2011). Reading between teachers’ beliefs and practices and research on reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 23(1), 102-128.

Lan, W., & Lama, R. (2020). Exploring an EFL Teacher’s Beliefs and Practices in Teaching Topical Debates in Mainland China. Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research. 8(1), 1-21.

Larenas, C., Alarcón, P., & Ortiz, M. (2015). A Case Study on EFL Teachers' Beliefs About the Teaching and Learning of English in Public Education. Porta Linguarum, 171-186.

Lindner, J. R., Dooley, K. E., & Kelsey, K. D. 2002. All for one and one for all: Relationships in a distance education program. Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 5(1), 1-20.

Litwin, E. (2010). Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes. Harper Collins.

Madej, K. S. (2008). Traditional Narrative Structure’–not traditional so why the norm? 5th International Conference on Narrative and Interactive Learning Environments.

Magid, M. (2013). An application of the L2 motivational self system to motivate elementary school English learners in Singapore. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 2(1), 228-237.

Manesis, D. (2020). Digital Games in Primary Education. In: Deliyannis, I. Game Design and Intelligent Interaction, IntechOpen.

Mart, C. T. (2012). Encouraging young learners to learn English through stories. English Language Teaching, 5 (5), 101-106.

Martin Jr., B. (1967). Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Doubleday Company.

Mourão, S. (2016). Picturebooks in the Primary EFL Classroom: Authentic Literature for an Authentic Response. CLELE Journal, 4(1), 25-43.

Nguyen, G. V. (2013). Orienting to pedagogical innovation: A case study of Vietnamese teachers’ beliefs and practices regarding Task-based Language Teaching.

Pajares, M. F. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct. Review of Educational Research, 62(3), 307-332.

Papadopoulou, S., & Ioannis, S. (2010). The emergence of digital storytelling and multimedia technology in improving Greek language teaching and learning: Challenges versus limitations. Sino-US English Teaching 7(4), 1-14.

Phan, H. L. (2004). University classrooms in Vietnam: Contesting the stereotypes. ELT Journal, 58(1), 50-57.

Rahman, M. M., Pandian, A., & Kaur, M. (2018). Factors affecting teachers’ implementation of communicative language teaching curriculum in secondary schools in Bangladesh. Qualitative Report, (5), 23.

Raymond, A. M. (1997). Inconsistency between a beginning elementary school teacher’s mathematics beliefs and teaching practices. Journal for research in mathematics education, (28), 550-576.

Rosen, M. (1989). We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. Walter Books.

Serrat, O. (2010). Storytelling. Asian Development Bank.

Shattuck, J., & Anderson, T. (2013). Using a design-based research study to identify principles for training instructors to teach online. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 14(5).

Smaldino, S. E, Lowther, D. L., & Russel, J.D. (2008). Instructional technology and media for learning (8th ed.). Pearson Education.

Spielberg, S. (1984). The Temple of the Loom. Paramount Pictures and Lucas Film.

Stevenson, R. L. (1976). The Touchstone. Greenwillow

Tzue, A. (2015). Soar.

Utami, D. (2016). The EFL Teachers’ beliefs and their teaching practices. OKARA: Journal of Languages and Literature, 10(2), 135-144.

Wajnryb, R. (2003). Stories: Narrative activities in the language classroom. Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers. Cambridge University Press.

Wilde, O. (1888). The Nightingale and the Rose. Publishers

Wright, A. (2008). Storytelling with children. Oxford University Press.

Yelland, N., Neal, G. A., & Dakich, E. (2008). Towards the social practice of digital pedagogies, in Rethinking education with ICT. New directions for effective practices. Sense Publishers.

Yolageldili, G., & Arikan, A. (2011). Effectiveness of Using Games in Teaching Grammar to Young Learners. Elementary Education Online, (10), 219-229.

Xue, Y. (2016). A Cloudy Lesson.



Cómo citar

Canals-Botines, M., Medina-Casanovas, N., Raluy-Alonso, Ángel, & Pujol-Tubau, M. (2021). Using storytelling in distance learning: Beliefs, online tools, and experiences of teachers within the context of school lockdown: La narración de historias en la enseñanza virtual: percepciones, herramientas digitales y experiencias en la escuela primaria durante el confinamiento. Educación Y Humanismo, 23(41).



Artículos de investigación sobre "Los retos Educativos en tiempos de COVID-19"