Literature Review

Educators Linguistic Knowledge

According to the key aspects of this study it states that storytelling promotes story grammar strategies and provides a guide for independent practice for children (Dawkins & O’Neill, 2011). Research study states the significance of how educators could use storytelling as an approach to the development of language skills for young children (Herman, 2007). Furthermore, within this study it identifies the skills required for ECE’s when using the strategies of storytelling. Research states the importance of four distinctive knowledge bases needed in order to support educators who are implementing the storytelling activity (Dawkins & O’Neill, 2011). The study also verifies linguistic knowledge required by the educator to produce the effective narrative delivery of the story which is being read to the children. The listeners of the storytelling activity require an oral narrative of the story with a speaker who has prior knowledge of the story and can communicate the expectations of children’s cognitive process (Dawkins & O’Neill, 2011). The research findings of this study relate to the research study of educators using storytelling as a tool for young learners in classrooms for the development of language skills. Moreover, the educator may also require a professional learning pedagogy for the purpose of using the strategies of storytelling within the classrooms for the development of children’s language skills.



The requirement of skills is essential for ECE’s when using the strategies of storytelling. The importance of four distinctive knowledge bases needed in order to support educators who are implementing the storytelling activity. The key aspect of this research study verifies linguistic knowledge required by the educator to produce the effective narrative delivery of the story which is being read to the children (Garzotto, Paolini, & Sabiescu, 2010). The confidence of storytelling in ECE’s presentation skills often relate to the positive and negative feelings about understanding the self. Storytelling changes the way educators see themselves and others. The assumption and perceptions of ECE’s on how confident they are during the storytelling time is determined by their feelings of comfort in their environment. The process of storytelling has become a challenge for ECE’s consistently due to the fear of being wrong or not having self-confidence in their presentation or communication skills. The lack of self-confidence is determined by the challenges of understanding the self and having either high or low self-esteem. It is critically evaluated that high self-esteem will benefit and provide positive outcomes. Moreover, educator’s self-esteem also relates to their ability towards engaging in critical thinking and dialogue.

Critical Thinking

During the process of storytelling the educators often use most their energy in getting it right without critically thinking about the vast range for creative innovation in the methods of storytelling. There are different aspects to storytelling, many educators may not feel comfortable in mimicking or changes in facial expressions which may be the reason for their lack of confidence. Also, many educators are seen doubting themselves, thinking that they are not able to give the best performance for the storytelling time which often results to educators feeling uncomfortable in their environment (Dawkins & O’Neill, 2011). The factors causing this may be the lack of knowledge and skills in regards to the benefits of storytelling to the language development of young children. The skills ECE’s require when using the strategies of storytelling define the quality of their implementation within the experiences.  The concept of critical thinking allows the educator to challenge their beliefs and values of the storytelling experience. The knowledge of the strategies that could be used to implement and provide quality experiences to young children’s language development is a part of the critical thinking process. The combination of knowledge and skills learnt through the critical thinking process will gradually improve the teaching practice of educators (Wright, Diener, & Kemp, 2013). During this process the educators will except that it is no longer important to be right all the time and to all agree on the same concepts. The ECE’s require the skill of critically thinking while listening to the stories to gain innovative and creative ideas for the presentation of their storytelling experience (Wright,, Diener, & Kemp, 2013). Furthermore, the critical thinking process will allow educators to be encouraged for trying more experimentation within the storytelling experiences. This finding of the study is strengthening to the research study where educators are implementing storytelling as a tool for learning with young children more often within the classroom setting. Overall, the educator teaching strategy has a greater impact on the long-term effect on the children’s language development and the process of engaging in a critically thinking dialogue may be beneficial as a teaching practice.

ECE’s knowledge of strategies

Educator’s ability to improve their teaching practice is significantly important by exploring and increasing their knowledge through implementing latest theories and strategies within their classroom settings. A skill which is evident in ECE’s is the support system of each other in the field. Educators supporting each other and sharing the knowledge with colleagues is an important aspect towards developing an overall pedagogy on the implementation of a variety of storytelling strategies. The concept of professional learning in educators provides a critically defined pedagogical perspective to the theories and implementation of activities (Taylor, 2013). The knowledge of an ECE in the field is essential for the educator in order to become an active member in the community. The ECE’s professional learning process also determines the ability to accept changes and transformations within the working environment (Taylor, 2013). Furthermore, this process allows the educators to overcome their inequities and acceptance to new understanding of theories or strategies that could be implemented. This relates to the research regarding the educator’s use of storytelling as a strategy tool for the language development of young children. Professional learning allows educators to explore further away from their comfort zone and implement strategies that form new understanding of child development. The research of the positive aspects of storytelling to the language development of young children is a professional learning milestone for educator’s independent practice. In addition, the knowledge of storytelling being beneficial to the language development of young children is also essential to the teaching practice of educators. Moreover. the concepts of storytelling paradigm are important as a strategy to support the development of cognitive function and skills in children (Garzotto, Paolini, & Sabiescu, 2010).

ECE’s understand the role of storytelling in children’s language development

The importance of storytelling to young children indicates that storytelling promotes story grammar strategies and provides a guide for independent practice. Literature states how educators could use storytelling as an approach to the development of language skills for young children (Dawkins & O’Neill, 2011). Furthermore, literacy development states that reading offers a significantly intensive vocabulary for young children (Rance-Roney, 2010). When words and phrases are repeated within the implementation of storytelling, the young children heavily focus on the intentional phrases within the vocabulary of the story. The children comprehend and understand the concepts of language within the story as a conventional method of literacy reading. During the course of storytelling the children are engaged and participating with the adults and other children in a socio-constructive environment.

Dramatization and Narrative Skills

In addition, through the process of storytelling paradigm the children are offered a variety of interactive experiences that allow the participation of open discussion and informal knowledge sharing. Research has shown that there is evidence in storytelling programming bringing children’s language development and narrative skills through interactive stories by educators(Garzotto, Paolini, & Sabiescu, 2010). Moreover, an interactive method of storytelling method is presentation of the storytelling experience in different ways such as the inclusion of drama within the traditional oral storytelling.

Dramatization of stories within the experience offers children with the understanding of the community dynamics of others stories and motivates children towards telling their own stories through the use of drama. (Wright, Diener & Kemp, 2013).

This concept of offering storytelling with a change in view is how the educator can use this strategy according to the children’s interests. The knowledge of the benefits through dramatization storytelling is important for the educator to explore and build further upon the experiences. As an educator it is a required component to provide a caring community of learners within the classroom setting (Wright, Diener, & Kemp, 2013). Through the exploration of knowledge and skills needed for storytelling the educator can explore the opportunities they can provide to the children in the classroom. Overall, this research validates the benefits and positive aspects of traditional storytelling as an interactive strategy for the language development of children.

Sociolinguistic Development

Furthermore, the strategies of storytelling explore the development of children as a positive narrative interaction for sociolinguistic development (Herman, 2007). The integration of concepts and methods by the educator enhances the storytelling experiences. Theories of cognitive linguistic development have been researched by scholars that validate the use of storytelling strategies as a foundation for the structure of language through the experiences provided to the children (Herman, 2007). During these experiences it is important for educators to recognize how and when children work together and draw attention to the effective collaboration of educator and children’s interactions. According to the theories of Vygotsky relating to cognitivist and linguistic development children’s interaction within the storytelling experience is a resourceful strategy for the language development (Herman, 2007). Also, through the concepts of storytelling the children learn the patterns of verb tense and the distribution of mind techniques (Herman, 2007).

Development of Oral Language Skills

The development of children’s oral language skills is believed to be in relation to their overall literacy teaching (Leahy, 2013). The literature presents a study where children are engaged in storytelling in primary schools is Australia. This thought process moves this study forward by developing a program for young children where educators attend workshops and the programs approach is to explore the “art of storytelling” (Leahy, 2013). The workshop for this program was organized with authors and artists for the purpose of storytelling. Well known storyteller from Kamishibai Bernarn Caleo and performance poet Tariro were part of the supportive team presenting the storytelling workshops for this program. The purpose of this workshop was to allow children to participate in an experience where they may learn from the storytelling narrative genres such as fairy tales and traditional stories. This concept is believed to associate storytelling with literacy skills, and further support children with their confidence in oral language skills and understanding of plot within a story. This approach for the research identifies the strategies of storytelling from professionals to determine the most effective qualities of using this as a strategy in classroom settings. During this study the children were supported by educators to take the experience of storytelling further towards “role-play with puppets, IPad apps for puppet pals, sock puppets, and play school art maker” (Leahy, 2013). This opportunity allowed children to explore the concepts of storytelling further where the children were seen participating in discussion with the authors and artists the art of storytelling (Leahy, 2013). During this time the students of this program explored the different techniques of telling a story such as “using movements, gestures, facial expressions, voice, and sounds as engaging devices of storytelling”(Leahy, 2013). This experience allowed the children to further explore and participate in their own creation of new studies with the knowledge gained from the narrative presenters. Overall, this literature supports the identified focus of study which is to explore the strategies and techniques that educators use during their presentation of stories to children. The techniques and strategies when used effectively allow children to participate and engage in a worthy experience of storytelling to enhance their language skills. Furthermore, research also identifies that the implementation of storytelling is changing overtime and how currently many educators are in the process of replacing the use of oral storytelling with technology based methods.


How do educators implement storytelling on a day to day basis

The implementation of storytelling in classrooms is an experience that provides children with a holistic approach for language development. Currently there is growing awareness of language development and comprehension through the affective strategies of storytelling techniques. The literature is related to the key aspects of this research and further supports the guiding research questions in order to determine the strategies used by educators which may be beneficial for the language development of young children (Barnes, Kim & Phillips, 2013). The ECE’s implementation of storytelling includes a compilation of comprehension questions for the purpose of learning aspects of literature within the storytelling experience. The study from this article states questions that target the narrative elements of the story that include questions such as “Who are the main characters? Where did this story take place? What was the problem in this story?”(Barnes, Kim & Phillips, 2013).  These questions are elements that construct the basis of language skills from young children and it is valuable to how the educator’s strategies enhance the learning provided through the implementation of the storytelling experience. Moreover, due to digital literacy the traditional formats of storytelling are dying through the years where educations are limiting their use of storytelling as a tool for children’s learning.

Traditional Formats of Storytelling

Prior to digital literacy traditional storytelling was the only tool available for individuals to share their beliefs. traditions, historical culture within their communities to the future generations (Wang & Zhan, 2010). This tradition goes beyond the invention of the printing press of books in 1450 where books then became an important tool in society (Wang & Zhan, 2010). The printed storybooks soon became accessible to many people where knowledge could be learned and passed down to the heritage of families to future generations. The tool of storytelling as the oldest form of education contributes to the language development in speech, written composition, reading, and listening (Wang & Zhan, 2010). Storytelling has been used as an instructional strategy and learning tool within the Early Childhood education system for years now. Through the process of this strategy the educators create and narrate personal stories where the young learners acquire knowledge and develop language skills with the process of plotting, writing, revising and narrating their own creation of stories (Wang & Zhan, 2010). Storytelling is the foundation of the early learning profession and is found in all types of teaching methods. According to a study of the five-stage  model by McDurry and Alterio on Reflective learning through Storytelling each stage allows children to be encouraged to reflect on their learning process and the experiences of their lives (Wang & Zhan, 2010). The stages engage the children in finding a story that relates to them, telling the story, expanding on the same story, the process of the story, and finally the reconstruction of the entire story. Through these stages the children improve their learning through the tool of storytelling which is identified as a tool for children towards making sense of experiences and seek the meaning of their lives (Wang & Zhan, 2010). Moreover, currently the implementation of storytelling is changing due to the increase of technology based learning in early childhood settings. The use of electronic text is replacing oral storytelling, where children have less experience with books in comparison to digital literacy (Di Blas & Paolini, 2012).

Digital Storytelling

The use of digital storytelling in schools is increasing with the use of technology usage within classrooms settings. Educators are implementing more technology based learning activities within their classroom rather than previously discussed oral literacy activities such as oral storytelling. The key aspect of this study show the use of digital literacy is increasing in classrooms with the exploration of the new trend in e-books. E-books are currently being used as a tool by early childhood educators to provide young children with the experience of new language and literacy development (Di Blas & Paolini, 2012). The implementation of digital literacy on a day to day basis by ECE’s is due to the social economic view of preparing children for the future of technology. The concept of digital literacy is changing the traditional literacy experience of children and educators in the school classrooms. The replacement of oral storytelling with technology is also changing the “role” of the educator in the classroom within the implementation of such activities. Furthermore, the perception of literacy with print-based media is changing within the western society  (Di Blas & Paolini, 2012). Digital literacy in our society is growing due to the evolution of technology based learning within our school systems and at home. According to research it is presented that print-based media is limited to solely linguistic, while digital literacy offers multi-media as a communication tool which offers a variety of modes as a form of literacy (Shuker & Terreni, 2013).

The use of multi-media offers children with different forms of literacy such as print and numbers (similar to oral storytelling), also provides symbols, photographs, animations, movies, videos, and website environments (Shukee & Terreni, 2013). This study relate to the research topic of storytelling as a strategy for language development in young children where digital literacy is currently being used as a tool for the same purpose in the classrooms. Moreover, the use of digital literacy has broadened the pedagogical thinking of many educators’ beliefs and philosophy of how children learn through the storytelling method within a classroom setting.

The focus of this study explores how storytelling may be used by ECE’s as an approach to developing young children’s language skills. Through the process of this study, there are three major questions which will be answered in relation to the issue explored with how ECE’s use storytelling. The questions answered within this study will focus around, what knowledge and skills ECE’s possess to use storytelling, how do ECE’s understand the role of storytelling in child’s language development, and how do educators implement storytelling on a day to day basis. The concerns discussed in the literature address the issue that early childhood educators do not feel comfortable using storytelling as a strategy for children’s language development (Taylor, 2013). Another problem identified in a study stated that many ECE’s are unaware of the benefits of storytelling for the children’s language development (Rance-Roney, 2010). Although  storytelling is used consistently by educators, many ECE’s do not fully understand the process of oral language development in young children. Therefore,  ECE’s are replacing oral storytelling with technology by the use of digital literacy. The storytelling approach is a strategy that covers the whole language development of children. The approach is holistic to the language and literacy skills of young children and supports their development. Theories of digital literacy for children’s oral and literacy development are believed to prepare the young learners for the future (Shuker & Terreni, 2013).  Theoretical frameworks such as socio-constructivism support the strategies used by educators for the purpose of storytelling to children. However, a wide range of educators are currently unaware of the significant outcome of storytelling techniques. Thus, it is essential to study this issue in order to identify the skills and knowledge required by the ECE’s to incorporate storytelling within program planning on a day to day basis for the language development of young children.








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