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Digital Storytelling in Durham

Refugees share their lives through Digital Storytelling

Who is Taking Part

A group of refugees who had recently moved to Chester-Le-Street were keen to gain new skills and learn English.


To use ‘Content and Language Integrated Learning’ to develop and practice new skills. This is an award-winning way of learning a new language through media activity, which originated in Brussels and is being developed in the UK by Digital Voice.

    Learning Goals
  • To enhance communication skills through creativity, expressing opinions, constructing narratives and writing for an audience.
  • To develop and strengthen IT skills using software that combines text, still images, audio, video and other media.
  • To strengthen media literacy and information finding skills.
  • Working as a team, to organise an event and use social media to connect with an audience.

What Happened

Participants chose to tell their own stories through text, drawings, photos, animation, audio and video. They used iPads and recording equipment to bring their stories to life. Story ideas can come from many sources such as personal and family experiences, connections to other cultures, people, places or events.

”I left home because of the war. It was a bad dream, for me and my family. We became refugees. This road was long and hard until we arrived in this country. Here we have new dreams for a better future...”

Wael's Digital Story

”My children are happy and doing well at school. I have hope again.”

Etidal's Digital Story


An event was organised by the groups, to showcase their films. They cooked lots of delicious Syrian dishes and other delicacies. The event was really well attended by their families, the wider community and Durham County Council staff, who were wowed by all of their efforts.

Benefits for Participants

Participants had the opportunity to tell their stories while enhancing their digital and communication skills, particularly the English language. Producing and showcasing their digital stories develops many employability skills.


This project has been supported by the European Social Fund through Gateshead Council

Who Else Would Benefit From This Sort of Project

This project can be rolled out to any group of non-native English speakers.