Comics as a tool of teaching

I have never truly been a book lover nor have I ever had any interest in comics. Before I began reading “The Complete Persepolis”, I was pretty worried that I would not be very interested in the book, and that it might take me a long time to finish reading it just like most books. I was shocked. I found myself just ten minutes into the book, and already I had flipped through more than twenty pages. I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I became intrigued with the storyline and was able to concentrate without losing focus or getting tired.

The author, Marjane Satrapi, has used comics in such a creative way to describe her autobiography. The use of facial expressions, setting, and mood really helped the reader to better understand and picture what Satrapi went through as a child. Even though Satrapi did a wonderful job portraying very small details in her life, I personally got to a point where I became confused with all of the different characters listed in the book. I understand why the author wanted to include all of the many people in her life to help explain how they affected her childhood, but I feel that by doing so, the reader, like me, might have a difficult time connecting to and remembering all of the characters.

As an “English as a Second Language” (ESL) student, I discovered that comics could become a useful tool for new students who just moved in to the United States and don’t speak much English. It’s difficult for a first year ESL student to read an entire book filled with words he or she might not even understand. By providing ESL students with comic books, the students can use the visual images as a reference to understand the storyline and connect the words with the meaning.  I think this would be a fun and educational way for new foreign students to learn quickly and enjoy their reading.

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2 thoughts on “Comics as a tool of teaching

  1. I definitely think comics could be used as a great tool for students whose first language isn’t English. Like yourself, I had a hard time remembering the names of all the characters. Especially learning them all so quickly, but I think it made it easier to have a picture go along with their face, even though I didn’t look at the pictures too often. Sounds like we need to slow down when we read! I like how you incorporated ESL kids and comics books as a tool to learning the English language. With a picture of what’s going on it the story, you don’t really have to understand all of the words. You can simply use context clues, and by doing so, you‘re learning more than you ever could by sitting down and reading an entire book and asking your teacher “what does this word mean?” every 5 minutes. Comics are not only a tool for students whose first language isn’t English, but they open up eyes of the people who don’t necessarily like to read.

  2. I totally agree with your opinion! All of it! I enjoy reading but I never make time to actually pick up a novel and finish reading it because of my busy schedule so when I was assigned to read Persepolis I was really worried on how I was going to finish this whole book if it seems that I only have 30 minutes each day between school and work. Just like you said, I was “shocked” on how many pages I read those 30 minutes. It’s very weird to think how fast and easy read a comic book really is. It was also very educational. I do agree though that there were a couple occasions that I was confuse on who all the characters were but once I refreshed my memory or went back to where they were introduced I was good to go. I really did enjoy reading this comic book and I agree that ESL students would greatly benefit from reading comic books.

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