Dina R. Yoshimi and Haidan Wang, Editors, 2007
Selected Papers from Pragmatics in the CJK Classroom: The State of the Art
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Quantitative and qualitative analyses of students' views on the storytelling project

Yukie Aida
University of Texas at Austin



This paper describes a storytelling project carried out by 147 students in second semester Japanese classes and reports the results of the survey concerning the students' reactions to the storytelling project. Storytelling or telling of personal narratives has been recognized as a valuable pedagogical activity to enhance levels of proficiency by foreign language teachers and researchers (Jones, 2001; Ko, Schallert, & Walters, 2003; Liskin-Gasparro, 1996; Yoshimi, 2001). According to ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines - Speaking (Revised 1999), the ability to "narrate and describe in major time frames with good control of aspect" (Breiner-Sanders, Lowe, Miles, & Swender, 2000, p. 18) is one of the characteristics among advanced-level speakers. The participants of this storytelling project, though they were not advanced-level speakers, were successful in completing a task of writing and narrating a personal story after receiving explicit instruction on the structure of a story and the strategies for telling a good story. This presenter was interested in finding out how the students experienced this project and what they had to say about why they enjoyed the project and why they did not enjoy the project.




The data used in this study were collected from 147 students who were enrolled in second-semester Japanese classes over the past six semesters. The characteristics of the subjects are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Subject characteristics (n=147)
Semester Fall 2003 32
Spring 2004 23
Fall 2004 32
Spring 2005 20
Summer 2005 11
Fall 2005 29
Sex Female 44
Male 102
Missing 1
Status Freshmen 13
Sophomores 50
Juniors 44
Seniors 31
Grad students 8
Missing 1
Native language English 115
Chinese 10
Korean 8
Others 13
Missing 1

After seven weeks of Japanese instruction using the textbook "Yookoso" by Yasu-Hiko Tohsaku (1999), three sessions (one hour a day) of storytelling instruction and practice were given. These storytelling instructional sessions were modeled on those presented by the coordinators (Dina R. Yoshimi and Tomoko Iwai) of the 2002 and 2003 workshops on Pragmatics in the JFL Classroom held at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa in which this author participated. Some modifications were incorporated so that they fit the UT curriculum. The content of the instructional sessions are summarized in Appendix A.

Three to four days after the three one-hour sessions were done, the students turned in their first drafts. The instructor (this presenter) gave them feedback using a feedback sheet. Based upon the comments and suggestions given by the instructor, students rewrote and resubmitted their stories. The instructor read them and suggested final modifications and revisions. Students were asked to turn in the final versions (the third draft) on the day of the presentation of their stories, which was one week from the due date for the second draft. The storytelling project was completed within four weeks. During the four-week period, students were free to seek help from the instructor and a TA for the class for writing or for oral practices during office hours. Closer to the oral presentation day, some class time was allocated for oral practice.

The present survey asked the students to evaluate the effectiveness of the storytelling project with respect to improving various language skill areas. The survey contained twelve items, eleven of which were answered on a five point Likert scale ranging from one to five.



Results of the survey are summarized in Table 2 below. Capitalized words are the names of variables in the analyses.

Table 2. Items with counts of students selecting each alternative

Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly

The storytelling PREParation lessons were useful and helpful.
1 (.7%) 1 (.7%) 22 (15.0%) 88 (59.9%) 35 (23.8%)
The storytelling sample VIDEO clips were useful and helpful.
0 5 (3.4%) 47 (32.0%) 78 (53.1%) 17 (11.6%)
The storytelling project was effective in improving my SPEAKing skill.*
0 1 (.7%) 17 (11.6%) 70 (47.6%) 58 (39.5%)
The storytelling project was effective in improving my LISTENing skill.
0 17 (11.6%) 50 (34.0%) 60 (40.8%) 20 (13.6%)
The storytelling project was effective in improving my WRITing skill.*
0 1 (.7%) 22 (15.0%) 67 (45.6%) 56 (38.1%)
The storytelling project was effective in improving my READing skill.
0 10 (6.8%) 28 (19.0%) 77 (52.4%) 32 (21.8%)
The storytelling project was effective in expanding my VOCabulary.
0 1 (.7%) 5 (3.4%) 77 (52.4%) 64 (43.5%)
The storytelling project was effective in improving my GRammar knowledge.
0 2 (1.4%) 9 (6.1%) 77 (52.4%) 59 (40.1%)
The storytelling project was effective in increasing my KANJI knowledge/usage.
0 14 (9.5%) 44 (29.9%) 76 (51.7%) 13 (8.8%)
OVERALL effectiveness of the storytelling project in enhancing my Japanese is:
Not effective at all
1 (.7%)
Not very effective
4 (2.7%)
Somewhat effective
32 (21.8%)
81 (55.1%)
Very effective
29 (19.7%)
How ANXIOUS were you during the oral presentation of your story? **
Not anxious at all Not much anxious Somewhat anxious Anxious Very anxious
2 (1.4%) 19 (12.9%) 26 (17.7%) 58 (39.5%) 40 (27.2%)
Which one would you prefer as an oral performance assessment? ***
Storytelling Conventional OP (i.e., Q & A, role play, etc.)
115 (78.2%) 29 (19.7%) shem shem shem

* Missing 1 (.7%) shem ** Missing 2 (1.4%) shem *** Missing 3 (2%)

In the first nine items, the highest counts were found in "agree", indicating that students perceived the storytelling project as having positive influence on their language learning. The combined percentages of agree and strongly agree for each variable are: PREP (83.7%), VIDEO (64.7%), SPEAK (87.1%), LISTEN (54.4%), WRITE (83.7%), READ (74.2%), VOC (95.9%), GR (92.5%), KANJI (60.5%). The top three highest combined percentages were found to be VOC, GR, and SPEAK. Of course, these students' perceptions of the effectiveness of the storytelling activity cannot be assumed to reflect the actual effectiveness of the storytelling project (i.e., the students' language improvements as measured by some kind of standardized methods). However, such positive perceptions, and such feelings of success can support the students' motivation to learn, which in turn, can lead to actual achievement in learning Japanese.

For the question regarding the overall effectiveness of the storytelling project in enhancing their Japanese level, the great majority of students (81 out of 147 = 55.1%) rated the STORYTELLING PROJECT as "effective" and 29 students (19.7%) rated it as "very effective". The combined percentage was 74.8%, that is to say, three quarters of the students believed that the storytelling project was effective overall. Although many of the students experienced anxiety during the oral presentation (58 students-39.5% said "anxious" and 40 students-27.2% said "very anxious"), this nervousness did not negatively influence the students' effectiveness ratings. The students were nervous, but they may have used this nervousness or tension as energy to do a good job in storytelling. As a result, they may have felt a sense of accomplishment resulting in higher ratings (4 "effective" or 5 "very effective") for the overall effectiveness of the storytelling project.

The overwhelming majority of students (n=115, 78.2%) preferred the storytelling activity to the conventional oral performance test (i.e., Q & A and role play) as a method of assessment. This result suggests that students are interested in sharing their personal experiences and stories with other people. This is consistent with the recent popularity of the National Public Radio oral history project, StoryCorps (a project to instruct and inspire people to record each others' stories in sound, http://www.storycorps.net/about/). This overall positive feeling toward the storytelling activity demonstrates people's need and affinity for telling and hearing personal stories.

Since many of the overall effectiveness ratings were 4 or 5, correlation coefficients between OVERALL and other variables were calculated to find out how they were associated with each other (see Table 3).

Table 3. Correlations between OVERALL and other variables.
SPEAK r = .613, p < .000
LISTEN r = .424, p < .000
GR r = .407, p < .000
PREP r = .401, p < .000
VOC r = .326, p < .000
READ r = .301, p < .000
WRITE r = .276, p < .001
VIDEO r = .180, p < .029
ANXIOUS r = -.133, p < .112
KANJI r = .142, p < .085

The strongest relationship was found between OVERALL and SPEAK, r = .613, p < .000. Those who rated higher on SPEAK (i.e., the effectiveness of the storytelling project in improving speaking skill) were more likely to rate the overall effectiveness of the storytelling project higher. This finding is very interesting because, although this storytelling project involved not only oral performance but also the writing of a story, the correlation between OVERALL and WRITE (r = .276) is much weaker than that of OVERALL and SPEAK. Therefore, it is safe to say that students' evaluation of the storytelling project is closely related to their sense of achievement in telling a story rather than in writing a story.

Other significant correlations were found between OVERALL and 7 other variables (LISTEN, GRAMMAR, PREP, VOC, READ, WRITE, and VIDEO). There was no significant correlation found between OVERALL and ANXIOUS, nor between OVERALL and KANJI. Therefore, a student feeling anxious during the oral presentation of his/her story did not necessarily lower the rating of overall effectiveness.

However, there was a significant negative correlation found between Anxious and Speak (r = -.226, p < .006). The more students felt ANXIOUS, the lower their ratings of the effectiveness of storytelling in improving their SPEAKing were.

There were no gender differences found in the distributions of the OVERALL effectiveness ratings; male and female students produced similar patterns of ratings. However, there was an association found between gender and the level of anxiety. One-way ANOVA (F = 4.587, df = 1, p < .034) revealed that females experienced a higher level of anxiety (Mean = 4.07) than did males (Mean = 3.67). Psychology research shows that men generally have higher self-esteem than women (Wood, Wood, & Boyd, 2005). Moreover, women tend to evaluate their abilities more harshly than men (Beyer, 1990; Gabriel, Critelli, & Ed, 1994; and Slevin & Aday, 1993). Thus, it is safe to say that women may operate on fear of failure rather than hope for success. This kind of less optimistic view may result in higher anxiety, which was shown in this study.

Qualitative analyses

In the second part of the survey, students described their storytelling experiences in writing. They were asked to list the reasons why they enjoyed the storytelling activity and the reasons why they did not enjoy the storytelling. Many students listed reasons for both enjoying and not enjoying, indicating that the students perceived both pros and cons of the storytelling project. Their opinions are very informative and revealing. There were 321 different statements regarding enjoying the storytelling. Those statements were grouped into eleven categories according to the content (see Appendix B for details).

The most frequently mentioned reason in the "Enjoyed" category was 'skill/knowledge improvement.' It was mentioned by 117 students. Of 117 students, 41 of them said something about improving speaking skills. The second most mentioned reason in this category is 'enjoyment', which was listed by 35 students. The third category is 'telling stories is fun' (n=33). The fourth category reflects students' positive views on the role of storytelling as a learning method (n=30). The fifth category is 'writing stories is fun' (n=20); students expressed their enjoyment of writing personal stories. The sixth category is 'comparison' (n=17). Seventeen students gave the statements comparing the storytelling project with the other oral exam format. The seventh category is 'different from other class activities' (n=13). Thirteen students remarked on the distinguishedness of the storytelling project from other learning activities. The eighth category is 'challenge' (n=11). The ninth category is 'real world experience' (n=9). The students commented on the relevance of storytelling to their everyday lives. The tenth category is 'creativity' (n=9). Other reasons (n=27) were put together in the 'Other' category because they did not fit into any one of the above 10 major categories. These reasons demonstrate that the students experienced progress in Japanese skills and had fun in the process.

There were 167 different statements expressing why the students did NOT enjoy the storytelling project. They were classified into eight categories (see Appendix C for details). The most frequently mentioned reason in this category was 'memorization' (n=38). The second category is 'nervousness' (n=31). The third category is 'difficulty of the assignment' (n=26). The fourth category is 'limited vocabulary/grammar' (n=20). The fifth category is 'not enough time' (n=12). The sixth category is 'difficulty in coming up with a good story' (n=7). The seventh category is 'unclear instruction/uncertainty of requirements' (n=6). The eighth category is 'Others' (n=27). It contains reasons that do not belong to any of the above categories. These statements indicate that the students experienced a certain degree of frustration due to their own skill deficiencies and due to the fact that they had to rely on memorization of long texts.



This paper analyzed the data obtained from students of second semester Japanese who had participated in a new storytelling project. The students described the storytelling project as a positive experience. An important element of their positive experiences was the fact that they found storytelling enjoyable. In addition, they perceived storytelling as contributing to the improvement of their language skills. This kind of overall positive way in which students perceived storytelling is likely to promote their motivation and persistence in learning Japanese.

Ryan and Deci (2000) proposed that students become engaged and interested in, and thus enjoy the activities that appeal to their needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. The more autonomy, competence, and relatedness students experience, the higher their motivation becomes. This presenter believes that the storytelling project includes these three components. Students were able to make decisions in all aspects of creating a personal story (autonomy). They had total freedom in selecting a topic, describing the setting and characters involved, and developing the plot. Students had the opportunity to experience the challenge of integrating what they have learned so far into a coherent, meaningful personal story (competence). They monitored what they have learned and used that learning as much as possible. In addition, students could internalize the values of the storytelling project presented by the instructor (relatedness). Those values include 1) the value of reflecting upon their own lives and applying their experiences to the task of telling a personal narrative, 2) the value of sharing a story with fellow students who will respect the storyteller's effort and creativity; and 3) the value of using the language in more personal ways.

It would be yet another challenge for the students to acquire a level of speaking skill that would enable them not to rely on memorization too much but to be flexible (in the use of the language) in telling a story and interacting with the listener. The students themselves said that they did not like the task of memorizing their stories. They know that it is not natural to tell a story from memorization. As they advance to a higher level of Japanese and increase their practice in interacting in a range of social settings, they will gradually gain the skill necessary to be an effective communicator and storyteller.

The survey results provided this presenter with encouragement to keep the storytelling project in the first year curriculum with some modifications. The storytelling project provides the students with opportunities to experience creative challenge, develop and make full use of their competence, and see the personal relevance of a language learning activity, which are all essential in promoting high achievement. Even though they do not possess the ability to fully express their thoughts and feelings, first year students can tell a story.



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Bandura, A. (1997b). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman.

Beyer, S. (1990). Gender differences in the accuracy of self-evaluation of performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59, 960-970.

Breiner-Sanders, K. E., Lowe, P. Jr., Miles, J., & Swender, E. (2000). ACTFL proficiency guidelines-speaking revised 1999. Foreign Language Annals, 33, 13-18.

Gabriel, M. T., Critelli, J. W., & Ed, J. S. (1994). Narcissistic illusions in self-evaluations of intelligence and attractiveness. Journal of Personality, 62, 143-155.

Jones, R. E. (2001). A consciousness-raising approach to the teaching of conversational storytelling skills. ELT Journal, 55, 155-163.

Ko, J., Schallert, D. L., & Walters, K. (2003). Rethinking scaffolding: Examining negotiation of meaning in an ESL storytelling task. TESOL Quarterly, 37, 303-325.

Liskin-Gasparro, J. E. (1996). Narrative strategies: A case study of developing storytelling skills by a learner of Spanish. Modern Language Journal, 80, 271-286.

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 54-67.

Slevin, K. F., & Aday, D. P. (1993). Gender differences in self-evaluations of information about current affairs. Sex Roles, 29, 817-828.

Tohsaku, Y. (1999). Yookoso! An invitation to contemporary Japanese. San Francisco: McGraw-Hill.

Wood, S. E., Wood, E. G., & Boyd, D. (2005). The world of psychology. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

Yoshimi, D. R. (2001). Explicit instruction and JFL learners' use of interactional discourse markers. In K. R. Rose & G. Kasper (Eds.), Pragmatics in Language Teaching (pp. 223-244). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Appendix A

The storytelling instruction sessions consisted of:

  1. discussions of what a good story is and who good storytellers are (small group discussion and class discussion);
  2. a lecture on and discussion of the structure of a story (opening, providing background information, making a point, expressing reactions to the main point, and closing);
  3. instruction on how to use discourse markers (〜んですね、〜んですよ、〜んですけど) effectively;
  4. exercises focusing on the use of useful expressions and grammar structures (e.g., 〜て〜て structure and connective words such as そして、それから、そしたら);
  5. #3 and #4 example: おなかがすきました。サンドイッチを買いにABCへ行きました。ABCはハワイのコンビニです。ABCの中に入りました。おにぎりがありました。テキサスのコンビニには、おにぎりがないから、とてもうれしかったです/おどろきました。
    あのう、おなかがすいて、サンドイッチを買いにABCへ行ったんですねあっ、ABCはハワイのコンビニです。、ABCの中に入ったら、おにぎりがあったんですよ。 テキサスのコンビニには、おにぎりがないから、とてもうれしかったんです/おどろいたんです
  6. watching 2 sample video clips of a Japanese person telling a story and 2-3 clips of students of Japanese from previous semesters telling their stories;
  7. planning their own stories;
  8. telling the story in English and receiving feedback from classmates
  9. preparing a story draft in Japanese. The students worked on their own in writing their stories in Japanese. The instructor answered the students' questions regarding grammar and vocabulary during the office hours or before and after the class.


Appendix B

The reason why I enjoyed: Total number of reasons generated = 321

I. Skill/Knowledge Improvement (117)

Speaking (41)
"helped conversational skill" (10)
"felt like I can actually speak Japanese" (4)
"feel more comfortable speaking in Japanese" (3)
"forced me to continuously speak and convey a full story (not just an interview)" (2)
"I can now recite a large amount of Japanese and sound good" (2)
"allowed us to learn how to tell about personal experiences" (2)
"I got to see how a conversation involving a story worked" (2)
"improved my confidence/ability to present information in Japanese" (2)
"got to practice speaking Japanese by casually talking to a Japanese person so I could improve my speaking and thinking ability on how to conjugate verbs" (2)
"could practice speaking in paragraphs, not in short sentences"
"learned new phrases for better speech"
"it sounded like I know a lot of Japanese"
"you must not only construct grammatically correct sentences but know how to converse"
"I was at a level where I could speak at some depth about something that I really did"
"It gave me a chance to practice more conversational Japanese"
"allowed students to freely speak"
"was a great outlet to speak in Japanese"
"getting more used to speaking Japanese"
"helped improve my speaking speed"
"never had talked for that long in Japanese before"
"could speak long sentences"

Vocabulary (22)
"learned new vocabulary" (19)
"got to personalize my vocabulary and use personal speech patterns" (2)
"helpful memorizing vocabulary"

Grammar (21)
"helped strengthen grammar usage" (10)
"was able to better understand grammar and vocabulary thanks to the story" (3)
"learned new grammar" (3)
"forced me to use new grammar that had just been learned" (2)
"learned how to use structures" (2)
"good feedback on corrections so I learned some new grammar"

Writing (14)
"strengthened writing ability" (6)
"had to write something rather complex in Japanese" (2)
"helped me practice writing in Japanese" (2)
"improved my kanji knowledge" (2)
"wrote my own story"
"learned how to write to speak"

Reading (1)
"helped me read Japanese better"

Listening (1)
"really made me listen to the listener's feedback"

Non-specific (17)
"learned a lot after writing/editing my story"(6)
"improved my Japanese" (2)
"developed skills in producing sentences"
"helped to improve Japanese proficiency"
"learned (later on) expressions"
"improvisation and memorization levels improved"
"had a lot of components, writing-speaking-listening"
"was able to memorize Japanese"
"could practice beforehand"
"allowed me to see the extent of my knowledge"
"it helped me to prepare for the test"

II. Enjoyment (35)

"interesting and fun (exciting)" (25)
"memorizing the story was interesting" (4)
"felt a great sense of accomplishment when I finished" (2)
"it is interesting to see my story in Japanese"
"liked being able to talk with you in Japanese"
"let her (teacher) to get to know with us a little more"

III. Telling stories is fun. (33)

"nice/fun to tell/share my personal (my own) story/experience" (18)
"could tell a funny story" (3)
"could tell our own story instead of just answering questions" (2)
"fun delivering the story to teachers" (2)
"told a story" (2)
"felt confident about telling an entertaining story"
"conversation was fun"
"did not have to listen and respond as much as I had to. just tell my story"
"got to tell a personal story with teachers in Japanese"
"talk to sensei at a more informal environment"
"got to talk something other than weather"

IV. Method of learning (30)

"chance to apply all prior knowledge" (16)
"good practice" (2)
"not just learning what was in the book, but expands into uncharted territory of the language"
"interesting way to incorporate all the forms and vocabulary we learned"
"it was very helpful"
"more effective learning"
"allow you to prepare effectively for the oral exam"
"provided an opportunity for me to practice speaking"
"allows you to review material"
"more than just memorizing a prewritten composition"
"had to interact with the listener instead of just saying what you had memorized"
"forced students to practice more than they would otherwise"
"good prep for memorization in skit"
"a good practical exercise"

V. Writing stories is fun. (20)

"personal stories are more fun than guided writing" (8)
"writing the story was fun" (5)
"fun writing about something I wanted to write about" (2)
"good to write in Japanese" (2)
"could go out and try to write things other than in lessons"
"actually had a reason to write a long story"
"was able to formulate an interesting story"

VI. Comparison (17)

"better then normal oral exam" (3)
"different from the regular Q & A oral exams" (3)
"a fun change from the normal interviewing structure of a normal oral test" (3)
"instead of having to guess what we'd be tested on, I simply had to memorize what I was going to say" (2)
"did not have to do the second oral exam" (2)
"easy oral exam"
"easier than a Q & A oral exam"
"more fun than a Q & A oral exam"
"prefer oral over written to learn Japanese"

VII. Different from other class activities (13)

"varied from other regular projects" (6)
"new experience" (4)
"a change of pace" (2)
"gave me a chance to do something besides workbook pages for a change"

VIII. Challenge (11)

"challenging" (10)
"made me work hard"

IX. Real World Experience (9)

"applied Japanese to my life" (3)
"real world appreciation"
"chance to use Japanese in a more practical way, more like a real life situation than structured class/test"
"situation similar to what would be expected in Japan"
"seems like something I would actually do in Japanese"
"felt like a real conversation"
"I've never told a story in Japanese before and telling stories is very important when hanging out with others"

X. Creativity (9)

"allowed to be creative" (8)
"we had creative liberty"

XI. Other (27)

"I enjoyed practicing with my classmates" (2)
"got a good grade" (2)
"got to learn how to type in Japanese" (2)
"subject was flexible"
"could move at my own pace"
"the writing part was quite difficult but once we have the written story, it became easier to tell the story"
"I did better than I thought I would"
"got to use emotions"
"I was more prepared"
"very open to opinion"
"instructor's feedback encouraged me"
"I can impress friends"
"a major grade that wasn't a group effort. Something I like to work alone."
"saw an example of communication between Japanese speakers"
"liked being able to do it in front of classmates"
"sensei and TA were very helpful and supportive"
"was straightforward"
"counted as two grades: writing and oral"
"excellent project"
"helped me get to know the TA better and she really helped on my grammar"
"I got to hear other stories"
"I did not have to come to class one day"
"there was ample time for help from the office hours"
"could revise my story many more times"


Appendix C

The reason why I did not enjoy: Total number of reasons generated = 167

I. Memorization (38)

"memorization" (18)
"difficult to memorize" (13)
"memorizing large chunks of text is difficult" (4)
"just felt like memorization" (2)
"tried to memorize the story verbatim the night before"

II. Nervousness (31)

"nervousness/anxious" (18)
"video taping made me more nervous" (9)
"nerve wrecking"
"it scared the hall out of me"
"a little intimidating"
"don't like public speaking"

III. Difficulty of the assignment (26)

"too much time and effort" (4)
"lots of looking stuff up in dictionary" (3)
"a little bit hard" (3)
"difficult to write a personal story in Japanese" (3)
"lots of pressure" (3)
"really have trouble speaking in a foreign language" (2)
"hard to translate so many ideas into Japanese"
"the many re-writes"
"a lot of work"
"didn't have much of an example to follow"
"more advanced students project will be a better fit"
"homework didn't slow while we were working on it"
"emphasis on kanji too heavy for story which would be spoken"
"because I had to do so many rewrites, I wished that we had an option of typing it. however, it did improve my handwriting"

IV. Limited Vocabulary/Grammar (20)

"use and memorize a lot of new vocabulary/grammar" (6)
"difficult to tell a story with my limited vocabulary/grammar"(3)
"confusing at first because my vocabulary/grammar is limited" (3)
"hard to think of what to say and how to say it in Japanese with only a year of grammar and vocabulary"
"was not clear on storytelling grammar"
"some of the grammar thing (n-desu) weren't clearly explained, they just seemed random"
"did not cover the same material as the test"
"very hard (vocabulary)"
"I had limited vocabulary"
"I used some of the structures without understanding"
"have trouble with grammar"

V. Not enough time (12)

"limited time for memorization/preparation" (8)
"could have used more class time in writing the draft" (3)
"not enough time to write and revise"

VI. Coming up with a good story (7)

"come up with a good story" (6)
"difficult to write the story"

VII. Unclear instruction/Uncertainty of requirements (6)

"instruction was a little unclear"
"requirements unclear: length of speech, what to expect in interview"
"some of the teacher's correction to the draft showed that she did not understand what I wanted to say"
"did not know what feedback to expect"
"did not expect the interviews to interact"
"did not know when to add in the expressions"

VIII. Others (27)

"the teacher's conversational element made me easily lose track of where I was in the story" (5)
"new story-telling forms like 〜んですね、よ、etc." (3)
"writing took a long time" (2)
"didn't even feel like I knew what I was saying"
"stories are better told to friends who know your personality and habits"
"forgot some stuff"
"I was sick for most of the storytelling lessons"
"night before the test too much to study with both paper and test"
"teacher asked questions"
"my Japanese software does not work"
"had a lot of test that week"
"so close to the test"
"it was an experiment"
"forgot some stuff"
"I am terrible at oral tests"
"corrections only by office hours"
"it's a solo project"
"did not help a lot more than an oral exam"
"did not get to share with class"
"am not sure I had all the vocabulary I wanted in order to write the story in full detail"

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