Theses Doctoral

Latino/a/e/x Students and Digital Storytelling: Producers of Knowledge in a College English Classroom

Oujo, Maria Irene

In this study, I attempted to understand how a history of literacy in the U.S. continues to shape the ways in which Latino/a/e/x students learn in English classrooms today. Through the work of scholars such as Gloria Anzaldúa and Ofelia Garcia and with authors such as Richard Rodriguez, Judith Ortiz Cofer, and Lorna Dee Cervantes, I have come to believe that Latino/a/e/x students often experience years of an education system that views literacy so narrowly that it can silence languages that do not fit the perceived academic language of standard English.

To understand what an expanded view of literacy could possibly look like in this study, I turned to scholars including The New London Group (1996), Cary Jewitt (2017), and Gunther Kress (2017) who study multimodality, as well as other researchers who examine digital literacies, particularly digital storytelling, in both formal and informal spaces. I did this in an effort to understand how multimodality and narrative might impact my Latino/a/e/x students’ learning and creative processes in the classroom.

In this study, I wanted to learn what happens when the notion of literacy is expanded in my classroom and my Latino/a/e/x college students incorporate digital literacies to create their own digital stories in our English composition class. More specifically, I wanted to have a clearer understanding of the processes students experience as they embark on their digital storytelling journey. What I have learned throughout this journey is that digital storytelling does, indeed, offer another lens through which to view Latino/a/e/x students in my English composition classroom and their work and that perhaps it is time to see how digital storytelling might fit into the larger field of English education.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
English Education
Thesis Advisors
Vinz, Ruth
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 28, 2022