Buketov Karaganda State University
ISSN (печатный вариант): 2073-0071
комиксы, критерии отбора, интерактивные обучающие средства, печатные материалы, визуальная грамотность, interactive teaching media, teaching tools, printed material, comic strips, visual literacy
В данной статье рассматривается целесообразность использования комиксов в процессе обучения английскому языку и межкультурной компетенции, анализируются критерии их отбора, предлагаются задания, которые можно использовать в процессе работы с комиксами на занятиях иностранного языка. Авторы подчеркивают, что использование комиксов поощряет и улучшает разговорные навыки на занятиях. Комиксы могут повысить мотивацию студентов, чтобы быть в состоянии выполнить задачу, поставленную преподавателем. Это мощный инструмент обучения, чтобы создать хорошую атмосферу с помощью интерактивных учебных средств массовой информации. Комикс рассматривается как аутентичный текст, являющийся носителем английской культуры и примером типичного коммуникативного поведения.
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions. Strips are written and drawn by a comics artist or cartoonist. As the name implies, comic strips can be humorous. Comic strips can be very motivating for learners as the story-line is reinforced by the visual element, which can make them easier to understand. There are a number of different ways to use comic strips. Nowadays, teachers have to be creative in delivering materials to the students. Ideally, teaching media are needed to support the success of teaching and learning processes. In English classes, teachers have to create a good atmosphere using interactive teaching media. Teachers sometimes ask students to create a dialog on their own based on a certain situation. They tend to make a long sentence for one character in the dialog, and this could give them problems, especially for students with lacking of English vocabulary. The conversation between the characters in the dialog often doesn’t flow naturally and the sentence is usually not in a good order. Let alone they’re too shy to practice the dialog they’ve made in front of the class because they’re afraid of having made mistakes and becoming the laughing stock. Teachers can try using comic strips to make the speaking activity in their class to be more attractive and interesting. Take a look at the picture below. They can make copies of the picture as many as they like (depends on how many students they have in their class) and distribute them to the students. Ask them to fill out the empty talk balloons with an appropriate reply to match with the corresponding dialog given by the other character in the picture. For example, in the introducing yourself and others activity, the teacher first needs to fill out the talk balloon with “Hello. My name is John.” then ask the students to fill out the empty balloon; ask them to give an appropriate reply to the first dialog. When they finish filling out all the empty balloons, pair them up; put the students in a group of two or three depending on how many characters there are in the picture and ask them to practice the conversation in front of the class.  Comic strips can be used in language classes in many different ways. Here are a few suggestions made by Atik Rokhayani: 1. Cut apart the panels of a comic strip or copy it out of order. Students put the panels in the correct order. 2. Give students the complete strip in order with empty talk/thought balloons/bubbles. Provide the sentences to fill in the balloons and let students order the dialog. 3. Give students a comic strip with half of the dialog and have them create the other half. 4. Select several vocabulary words and ask students to use them in a comic strip. You can create the strip with empty balloons, or let students make their own. 5. Present a setting or a problem/situation and have students create a comic strip. The activity I get it is about asking and giving information. Ask the students to fill out the empty talk balloons based on the dialogs given by the other character. It teaches English idioms through comic strips. This will make the students feel attached and connected to the story. So teachers, now you can have so much fun teaching English conversation to your students. Your speaking class will no longer be boring! Cartoons and comic strips can be used from beginner level to advanced level for a variety of language and discussion activities. We also came across Make Beliefs Comix, this great website can help you create your own comic strips. The following have proved quite successful with various classes. They are powerful teaching tools and can: - tell a complex story in a few images - provide comment and provoke thought on events and issues in the news - give an example of vocabulary related to current trends and fads -provide easily identifiable characters to form the basis for sketches -show culture in action with the ways that men or women are behaving and are expected to behave. Tell the story. Cut up the pictures and get students to reorder the story. Make this more difficult and challenging linguistically by giving separate frames to each student in a group and ask them to not show the pictures until they have arrived at an order through describing the pictures. - Remove the last picture of a cartoon and ask students to think of an ending. Artistic students may like to draw the last frame. Vote for the best ending. - Remove the sentences under each frame and either ask lower levels to match them to each frame or ask them to write the sentences that tell the story. Lower levels might need vocabulary prompts on the board. Make the comic strip. Give students a comic strip with a short paragraph for each frame. Ask students to reduce each paragraph to one sentence for each frame. Compare their efforts to the original. With higher levels you can discuss techniques of summarizing your message. - Give students a story. Groups confer to guess what might be missing. Give them the comic strip version. They must fill in the blanks in their written story by using the comic strip pictures. Then ask them to think of speech bubbles for the comic strip. This might also include thought bubbles for characters. - Remove speech bubbles from a comic strip. Cut them up and give out. Ask them to order them and to imagine what the story or situation is. Groups can act out their version for the class. Then give them the comic strip and ask them to see if their speech bubbles fit the story there. - When you use a short story with junior students ask them to make the story into a series of 4 pictures. This can be a group effort or a whole class task with each group drawing one part. If you use a black and white comic strip allow time for younger learners to color their versions. - Make an information gap using a photocopied comic strip. Blank out details or change what characters are saying. Make sets which are colored differently. Set up spot the difference activities using the comic strip and then lead in to storytelling and acting out the comic strip. Exploit characters. Make a comic strip character. Look at different comic strip heroes. Get suggestions from the class of names: Superman, Bart Simpson, Asteroid, Tin or others. Describe popular characters for their age range in Kazakhstan today. Encourage the students to tell you about local comic book characters. Ask them to describe one character in pairs. What makes this character special? What can they do? Have they got special powers? What are their weaknesses? What do they look like? What are their special interests or ambitions? Then ask each group or pair to choose a favorite character and make a simple situational dialogue which is typical for them. Ask students to work in pairs or groups to invent their own character. If appropriate students can draw the character. Give the character special powers, a name and a special mission. The final stage is to tell an everyday story involving the character. Exploit short sequences for sketches and improvisations. Choose a key situation which would involve language students might need to practice, such as agreeing with opinions, asking permission or saying you are sorry. Use a sequence from a cartoon with the sound off so students describe what is happening, imagine what is being said and can then use the sequence to improvise a sketch. Listen to the real sketch at the end. You can also remove the final line in a comic strip story so that the students have to invent and write an appropriate ending. Depending on the wishes, needs and abilities of the class, you could also ask them to draw the final line of the story as well as providing the dialogue. For a lesson that is more focused on structure, you could ask them to rewrite a comic strip dialogue in reported form. This might involve the use of verbs such as exclaim, protest, realize, wonder and so on. You could also get the students to bring in examples of their favorite comic strips in their native language and ask them to translate a brief section into English. This could be done in pairs or small groups and the translations could then be compared. In recent decades, a comic strip has been being issued by some experts for its use in language classroom. Almost all the experts state that comic strip can enhance the learners‟ ability to master the language. It is because there are several advantageous aspects of comic strip which cannot be afforded from other media. According to Mc. Vicker (2007), comic can assist a teacher to provide the visual literacy media in teaching language. Visual literacy means a vision competency that can be developed by assimilating some sensory experiences at the same time. It is said so since comic contains pictures and texts in a reading text. In reading comic the learners will use not only one sensory experience which are seeing the picture but also reading the text. This support of visual literacy skills will assist the learner to develop strategies in acquiring words, improving phonics skills and building the vocabulary construction.  Related to this, Liu (2004) denotes that the visual of reading text will assist the learners to comprehend factual information.  It is also supported by Nunan (2004) by stating that learners who are given a complementing visual that provided a context are able to reconstruct a logical version of the story.  Supporting this idea Piro in Mc. Vicker (2007) describes that a picture will enlarge the comprehension of the text for the student. It is because by seeing the picture and relating to the text, the process of enlarging or extending comprehension in comprehending the text will occur. Piro added that using visual literacy such as a comic strip in teaching can develop the student spatial concepts. The learner will not be forced to imagine the detail or description in color, size and other aspects. The visual provided by comic also has other advantages.  According to Casaba (2006) the visual of comic strip will be a factor that improves the communicative competence. It is due to the presenting of expressions used in spoken of life-like situations, such as idioms, reduced forms, expressions that require shared cultural knowledge and the gestures or body language of the characters which will also develop the learner communicative competence of nonverbal communication. In addition, a comic also could role as a motivating aid for the learner in learning language since the learning process will be more enjoyable and interesting. In enjoyable learning condition the learners never realize that they acquire knowledge in reading the comic. Through comic the learners will not feel that they are really reading the academic texts but they will feel reading the text for pleasure since there are pictures in comic. Rokhayanti (2007) also agrees that pictures give intention more effectively than words. Pictures give an image of situation that more comprehensible than word. Therefore, comic can also support the enjoyable learning condition created in class. Krashen in McKiver (2007) also states that comic also has a purpose of motivating young readers to become recreational readers, which will support them to develop their vocabulary knowledge, to connect their imaginations, and to inspire reading habit. Added to this, another advantage of a comic strip is the authenticity provided in the text. The authenticity is got since it provides the actual situation of society in using language. Remember that using authentic material is very important in language teaching and learning since it will give several advantages. Firstly, the fact that learners comprehend a genuine text successfully, the learners can be motivated and the learners‟ confidence will be built (Csabay, 2006). Lastly, comic also conveys value and popular culture for the learner. The value could be obtained by the learner in a story of a comic which is also represented in pictures. Since learners have more than one role in their daily life, they ought to learn the popular culture. Those facts, then, inspire several material developers or teachers to make a comic strip as the learning materials. It inspires the materials developer or teacher to develop learning materials based on a comic strip. We also use a comic strip in our language class. Our learners respond well to colorful visuals that demonstrate the context of language since the learners will get very tired of black and white print and monotonous exercises. The learners also like making their own and comic strips since we think that the best way for learners to remember is to do it themselves. Besides, we are sure that this kind of multi-media project work makes the learners feel enthusiastic. It increases creativity and promotes confidence and independence. Teachers facilitate the students using teaching and learning media. The strategy determines the successful process. If a teacher does not use any media, there will be no interesting teaching and learning process. Students need something new in their process of learning, especially when they are at the university and they should improve their English language ability. If they are motivated and interested in learning English, they will be able to master the language.
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