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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