Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Wei Zhu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Arthur Bochner, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Janet Richards, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Camila Vasquez, Ph.D.


Pre-service Teachers, Critical Pedagogy, Multiculturalism, Multimodal, Autoethnography, Visual Methods


This narrative inquiry dissertation explores stories from three students over a two-year trajectory as they develop into language educators in diverse contexts. The study begins in a teacher education course focused on technology for language teaching in English as a second language (ESOL) and foreign language education (FLE) classrooms. As instructor, I implemented a digital storytelling (DS) project with the pedagogical goal of supporting the much-needed practice of reflexivity, and specifically, reflexivity of intercultural competence (IC) and culturally-responsive pedagogy (CRP). The DS, as an autoethnographic multimodal narrative activity, provided a creative outlet for undergraduate and master’s level students to explore their own cultural background or intercultural experiences. In this study, I re-story the experiences related to the DS project and follow my former students, now teachers, to explore how personal narratives promote or support reflexivity of critical multicultural concepts or practices. I combine and juxtapose multiple perspectives based on observations, data from the student-authored DS and reflections, and in-depth interviews. Using a critical-based autoethnographic approach, I add my own instructor-researcher narrative. The resulting descriptive and interpretive narrative inquiry accentuates complexities, invites conversation about the critical and reflexive potential of DS or personal narrative, and contributes pedagogical and methodological insights into teacher training via the “meaning-making” story process and the innate accessibility of learning through stories.