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Digital Stories @ UMBC

Cross-Cultural Communication: ELC 054 & 504

UMBC's English Language Center works with digital stories within the course “Cross-Cultural Communication and University Life” (ELC 054), an advanced English as a Second Language course. The 3-credit course is taught by Heather Linville and Tsisana Maysuradze in the spring and by Polina Vinogradova in the summer and fall.

Polina Vinodagroa and Heather Linville discuss using digital storytelling in the ESL classroom.

ELC 504

During the Fall 2009 semester, students in ELC-A 504/054 (taught by Polina Vinogradov and Tsisana Palmer) produced digital ethnographies using main principles and techniques of digital storytelling. The students worked in groups and explored cultural communities of their choice. Focusing on either a particular aspect of culture or a theme within a cultural community the students developed and conducted interviews, analyzed the information they collected, and produced digital stories based on the interview answers and their understanding of the subject. The goal of this project was not only to introduce the students to a multimodal form of self-expression, but also for the students to explore different perceptions of culture outside of class and experience cross-cultural communication while working on digital stories with their classmates.

Inside a Heart

Our Celebrations

Rainbow Flavor


Mysterious City


Greatest Man

I Love You


ELC 054

The goal of this class is to help students recognize and analyze a number of cultural concepts as they are seen in a variety of new media genres. For example, in class, the students talk and read about the Iceberg Theory, individualistic and collectivistic cultures, cultures that use high and low context communication styles, identity, culture shock, and aspects of verbal and non-verbal communication.  At the same time, the students watch motion pictures, documentary films, online advertisements, and digital stories applying the cultural concepts they had learned about. The students also participate in discussions, both face-to-face and on-line, in which they apply what they have learned to an analysis of their own culture and the culture they have experienced in U.S. campus life.

The final project of the class is a production of individual digital stories.  The process of working on the stories throughout the semester includes choosing the topics, writing the narratives, collecting photographic images, and choosing the music to accompany their verbal narration. The students also discuss their stories in class, peer-review their narratives, and complete online journal entries which allow them to reflect on their progress and express their doubts and concerns to their instructor. The students also intensively work in the computer lab putting their stories together under their instructors’ guidance. Several digital stories that were produced in these classes can be viewed here.    

Spring 2009

Tsisana Maysuradze's class (054_8011)
Giovanna Melilo
Shinaporn Leksrisalul
Ibrahim Toure
Chakaphan Pornsatit
Thuy Van Thi Nguyen
Jin Kyoung Kim
Ga Eun Lee
Suk Min Yoon
Ibon Ruiz Escribano Ga Eul Lee
Chanmi Song
Hang  thi Nguyet Nguyen
Chih-hua Lee
Dilma Monteiro
Tuyen Duc Pho

Heather Linville's class (054_8010)
Ovgu Guner
Hella Almansour
Ae Kyung Kim
Huong Vu Mai Huynh
Hawoong Shin
Maha Aldhahi
Byungchang Kim

Fall 2008

Ahmad Alkaabi
Bibo Zhang
Duong Bach Nguyen
Eunji Lee
Eunjoo Jung
Fadi Maiga
Goun Rhee
Kevin Wespi
Mengyue He
Na Young Kim
Saphassorn “June” Santijitrungruang

Summer 2008

Spring 2008