As well, the students identified what they felt was another English content goal that telling personal narratives helped them meet. As one student explained during the recorded discussion on the last day of class, it was simply the goal of communication. “Communication is important. Period.” For the students, being invited, encouraged and even required to verbally engage with one another was seen as learning English. Using personal narratives as the communication vehicle enhanced the quality of that learning. A student explained his understanding of how communication had been enhanced:
Well, English is just all about communication…we’re trying to portray our feelings. Just knowing everyone makes it a lot easier to talk about things. You can get things out (Semester-end taped class discussion, December 2004).
Not only did sharing personal narratives stimulate communication in the class, it also deepened the level of that communication because students felt they knew or saw one another and were therefore able to communicate in a more open and subsequently richer manner:
The comfort that students felt with one another, in part because of the sharing of personal narratives, enhanced the communication that went on in the classroom. The communication made learning better in the sense that knowing one another allowed the students to get their ideas out in the first place and then to explore them in more depth with their classmates. The students felt seen and safe and were therefore able to pursue their learning more thoroughly.