Why teach with Comics? by Jennifer Haines [V&A Project]

In Why Teach with Comics?, Jennifer Haines, much like the other articles and studies I have read during my research, talks about the benefits of using comics for education. Unlike some of the other studies, Haines discusses, though briefly, the uses for comics when breaching a language barrier. Making note of how the combination of images and text can allow for the reader to connect deeper with the meaning.

“To a reluctant reader or an English Language Learner, a prose text can be incredibly daunting; it is a wall of words, overwhelming to start, impossible to finish. The key to getting these learners to read is to engage their imagination and interest. Comics are a perfect vehicle. They divide up the text into manageable chunks, which are supported by images. These images help readers increase their vocabulary through the connection between words and images. Comics are especially useful for English Language Learners from Korea, China, and Japan, for whom comics are an inherent part of their culture. By offering a style of reading with which these students are familiar, they will be more willing to make the effort to read.” [Haines. 2012]

“Even beyond the support given to reluctant readers and English Language Learners, the benefits of graphic novels and comics in the classroom are vast. They can:

  • engage readers who learn visually, and who are comfortable with visual media, such as video games and computer graphics
  • increase vocabulary
  • encourage readers to explore different genres, and develop an appreciation for different literary and artistic styles
  • teach positive messages, such as helping others, working to one’s best ability, working as a team, and persevering
  • open a reader’s mind to new ways of storytelling, and increase their imagination, through the unique combination of text and pictures used in comics to convey the story.” [Haines. 2012]

 

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