Resilience in language learners and the relationship to storytelling
International students, who study a foreign language abroad, experience more adversities than their domestic peers. The social challenges they face include problems with immigration status, isolation, difficulty speaking a new language, and learning unfamiliar customs. There is limited research focused on the coping strategies of these individuals. A growing body of research suggests storytelling may provide an important role in promoting resilience, defined as an individual’s ability to bounce back or recover from stress. The study investigated possible relationships between experiencing storytelling as a child and adult resilience. The sample consisted of 21 international college students studying Chinese or English. Students were examined with a survey, a narrative interview, and the brief resilience scale. Data were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. The quantitative results produced significant correlations between resilience scores and the survey scores for adults who reported using storytelling in their own teaching of a second language to peers and children. Qualitative results identified five protective factors for resilience: (1) social competence, (2) problem-solving skills, (3) autonomy, (4) sense of purpose, and (5) use of storytelling. Implications of the findings for research and intervention are discussed.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Nguyen, Stanley, N., Stanley, L., & Wang, Y. (2015). Resilience in language learners and the relationship to storytelling. Cogent Education, 2(1), 991160–. https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2014.991160