Engaging adolescent Kyrgyzstani EFL students in digital storytelling projects about astronomy
Issues in Educational Research
Institute for Educational Research
School of Education
Edith Cowan University
This research is based on the Journey through Space and Time (JTST) educational astronomy project for primary and junior high school science curricula in Australia, which seeks to improve students' astronomy content knowledge through science inquiry. The focus of the current project is on the learning needs of students for whom the language of instruction is a foreign or second language (EFL/ESL). This article reports the results of a pilot case study conducted in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in December 2017. The research employed a Type II Case Study design. Data were collected through video and audio recordings of classroom interactions. The Astronomy Diagnostic Test measured changes in content knowledge and written feedback at the end of the course and helped to understand students' overall impression from the course. The study revealed that engaging Kyrgyzstani EFL students aged between 12 and 15 years in making videos about their learning of astronomy significantly facilitated their content knowledge acquisition. This research contributes to the existing knowledge about the use of technology in students' science education, and specifically as a tool to enhance EFL students' understanding of the integrated science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum. The results of the shared knowledge construction stimulated by the collaboration in video production create a case for further research in EFL students' disciplinary literacy development.