Effect of Dramatic Storytelling on Emergent Literacy in EFL: Evidence from the UAE Kindergartens

Ghada Yahya Alkilani, Qilong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adopting a combination of quasi-experiment and formative research design, this study developed, implemented, and evaluated an intervention model that provided the kindergartners with intensive experiences with dramatic storytelling. The samples were 200 children from 10 classes of three kindergartens in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, with 107 in intervention classes, and 93 in control classes. The intervention program covered four English dramatic stories that were taught in 16 sessions in eight weeks. The dramatic storytelling sessions were characteristic of use of print copy of storybook and dramatization. Quantitative data were collected through structured observation of the child’s classroom activities and parent survey on the child’s learning EFL at home. General linear model repeated measures revealed that the main effects of group (intervention and control) and time (pre- and post-intervention) in predicting the mean scores of the composite of classroom activities and the child’s action to learn EFL at home were significant. This study offered a micro-curriculum model of a dramatic storytelling approach to EFL teaching, which may serve as a conceptual framework for developing kindergarten-based EFL curriculum in the UAE and similar contexts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLiteracy Research and Instruction
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Dramatic storytelling
  • EFL
  • emergent literacy
  • kindergarten
  • UAE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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