Learn a new language through comics — Observatoire



In summary, even though many people, especially language teachers, do not take teaching and learning through comics seriously, this research with university students demonstrated the effectiveness of comics. in three specific scenarios. First, participants claimed to have learned new words, many of which were incredibly difficult.. Second, the comic book images combined with character dialogue helped participants get the main idea and specific details of stories more accurately and faster. Last but not least, the comics have proven very appealing to reluctant readers, which can be a great start to persuading students to read. As a result, reading is no longer boring; comics can entertain them and facilitate their mastery of the language.

After this research, I continued to use this method of teaching English in my university courses. I also shared my findings with my colleagues, who in turn used comics to motivate their students to read and learn the English language. I also presented two papers based on this study, the first at the University of Arizona in the United States and the second at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora in Brazil. In reviewing my research for these purposes, I discovered new ways to use comics to improve skills beyond reading, such as listening, speaking, and writing. The uses are limitless if the material is handled thoughtfully and creatively. Therefore, I call and invite readers of this article to consider trying out comics, comics, and graphic novels in their classrooms. I’m sure students will enjoy having authentic, engaging and integrative material like this.

About the Author

Warner Salazar (asalazar@utn.ac.cr/warner.salazar@ucr.ac.cr) has a master’s degree in English teaching and wants to write about innovative methodologies for language learning. It is currently associated with the National Technical University and the University of Costa Rica.


Cary, S. (2004). Going Graphic: Comics at Work in the Multilingual Classroom. Portsmouth: Heinemann.

Koiriyah, N. (2011). The use of comic stories to improve students’ vocabulary. Unpublished doctorate. Thesis. Faculty of Islamic Studies of the State Institute of Walisongo.

Krashen, S. (1985). The entry hypothesis: problems and implications. 4. Ed. New York, Longman.

Salazar, W. (2019). Using comics with pre-intermediate language students for reading comprehension and vocabulary recognition. Yulök Revista de Innovación Académica. 3(1), 44-57. https://revistas.utn.ac.cr/index.php/yulok/article/view/194/145

Edited by Rubí Román (rubi.roman@tec.mx) – Observatory of Educational Innovation.

Translation by Daniel Wetta.


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