(2) Book selection – Story adaptation: How to adapt stories to best fit the purpose?
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- Department of English Language Education
Vicky Chen Qiyi, Year 4 Student of BA(Lang Studies) (2019/20)
With the prevalence of digital devices, digital storytelling has undertaken a significant restructuring: the new form of storytelling that presents short and personal narratives (Meadows, 2003) combines images with text, narration, voice and music (Robin, 2008), way outperforming traditional delivery of storytelling. Thanks to this, children may be likely to benefit from the digital stories that are more compelling, moving, empowering and everlasting (Maureen et al., 2018) and hence develop their digital literacy.
Given the indispensable elements of digital story production, how to adapt stories such as the alternation of narration and text becomes one of the foci for increasing the efficiency of “digital storytelling”. In general, narration refers to the process of telling a story while text refers to the printed part of a storybook. With regards to narration, the focus of a story including its theme, characters, problems and solutions should be put in the first place. Then, storytellers are suggested to keep reminding listeners of the focus and concurrently insert guiding questions throughout the story, which makes the delivery of digital story content more interactive. For example, guiding questions should be devised based on two principles that the questions can either enable listeners to foresee the ending of the story, or elaborate on the content that may be relatively significant. In another aspect, text adaptation is also necessary for story adaptation. To be specific, word choice, visual display and length of story are three aspects that can be modified. Inevitably, young learners may come across some complicated words, but they can understand easily if suitable simple synonyms can be used to replace complex and difficult vocabulary. For example, in the storybook named Tom’s Present, the storyteller changed “the thaw” into “the warm weather”, which may make the content easier to understand. Besides, it is suggested that add-on visual display can also be provided as to exemplify the complicated words in addition to the illustrations of the storybook. Furthermore, it is always better to shorten the length of the story, by wisely cutting out some unnecessary and descriptive sentences. In short, narration and text are two main aspects while dealing with digital story adaptation.