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Using strip cartoon stories with young learners 
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Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:38 am
Posts: 128
Location: Italy
Post Using strip cartoon stories with young learners
A lot of course books for young learners have strip cartoon stories. In some cases it's a one-off story for each unit, in others it's an on-going story for the entire course.

I usually go through the story reading it aloud myself (or play the recording if there is one), then ask a few comprehension questions, and then get the kids to read through it in small groups, taking a role each.

That's hardly revolutionary classroom methodology. Does anybody have any better ideas?


Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:48 am
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Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:03 pm
Posts: 24
you could look at sequencing ...

blotting out the words and having students write their own bubbles and then comparing with the original or matching the bubbles to their contents ..

just a few thoughts

Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:28 pm
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Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:46 am
Posts: 2130
Location: Nagano, Japan
I know people do a few things with cartoon strips. Mostly, what Emstacks, said about erasing the dialog and just giving the blank cartoon strip for the students to fill out. However, that's not what I think you have in mind.

On the dialog front, I'm affraid I'm not very creative either. I generally present dialogues by covering the script with something, so the students can't see the text.. Then I have the students discuss the picture(s).

Next, I ask them some comprehension questions and they have to listen for the answers. I play the audio (several times if nec.) and the students listen for the answer. (you can read the dialog as well if you don't have the CD or DVD.)

Once we have the answers or ideas for the answers, they uncover the text and listen again while reading.

We check that our answers were right and I have them ask questions about any parts or vocabulary they might not understand. Then we procede to practice the dialogue a little. I may have them repeat the whole thing once after me and then they practice in pairs.

That's just English Language Teaching 101, yeah?

I actually only have them practice the dialogue once or twice and only for fluency. I think it's more important to work with the dialog at this point rather than memorize it. There's really not a lot of point in memorizing any dialog. The chances of both having that exact conversation and being able to remember it should the opportunity occur, are pretty low. So it's better to have command of the target language and confidence in that setting.

I may have them add in dialog. I have my nursing college students continue the conversation for 2 more exchanges. or they can interupt the current script by placing more dialog into the conversation. they may add an additional question or something like that.

I have some adult and business classes re-enact the conversation but change parts and most importantly, put the book away for this! They also do this spontaneously and the other side has to react to the change. (That's much better than the 2 just scripting it out.)

That's a little dry and forced to be honest. I do the same for my nursing college classes, but they don't really appreciate me making them do the role-play over and over, and over, and over :roll:

For kids, I usually just build off whatever the main language point was and have them do other speaking exercises or play a game using that language. I won't have them act out much because it doesn't really suit my teaching style. (It's hard to sell anything you don't believe in yourself.)

Nothing revolutionary here either ...

Build up! Be positive! Teach hard!

Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:56 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 5:27 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Shanghai
I have had a little success - with my more artistic students - with a small homework assignment.

I ask them to draw their own cartoon - they can choose the setting, characters and anything else they would like to change. I ask them to keep a similar dialogue, though I allow for small changes to be made, as long as the content language is still there.

This is seen as fun homework (at least for my kids) and at least I know that the target language is at least being looked at between lessons.

I don't do this in class, as I can't justify colouring for the age of students that would be reading comics in the first place. But I have no problem with creative homework, on their own time. It can be a change of pace.

Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:37 pm

Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:10 am
Posts: 25
Location: France
I would like to use cartoons too, as my pupils are really fond of them.
Do you guys know a website where I could find some - pretty easy ones, for their very first years of learning English?
Do some of you use the software ComicMaker? It seems great, but I can't open it with vista grr
I like the idea to erase the speech bubbles and make them write their own dialogues.
Thanks !

French Teacher of English, in a small Coll├Ęge in France (Ardennes).

Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:13 pm
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