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ERIC Number: ED390277
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Comic Book as Course Book: Why and How.
Williams, Neil
This paper describes how comic books are used as instructional materials in an intensive English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) course and discusses the rationale for using them. The students in the course have low-intermediate English language skills with limited discourse and interactive competence. Comic books are used because they are authentic, highly visual, culturally current, use a constant register, and contain limited lexical phrases. Analysis of the language in the specific text used, a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon collection, shows three categories: non-grammar (words and phrases whose meaning can be recovered relatively easily), words, and suprasegmentals (intonation, contrast) and sounds. Nonverbal cues are also found. It is noted that these elements, illustrated in several comic strips from the book, are not often found in traditional second language textbooks. The approach used by the teacher is to guide students in hypothesizing about the language in the cartoons, raise awareness of pragmatics, and emphasize the underlying regularity of language. Student translation of strips into English is used to highlight the role of other elements than lexicon in understanding the text and context. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Authentic Materials
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (29th, Long Beach, CA, March 26-April 1, 1995).