8 Ways to Use Comic Strips with language learners

comicComics  are a wonderful source of authentic input for language learning at any level. You can use  comic strips as a lead in to theme based topic, to practice reading between the lines, to discuss cultural humour, review vocabulary and more.  Here are 8 ideas for implementation with your business English client or small groups of learners. Learn  how to make a talking comic strip here!

Ideas for one-one English language coaching

1. Travel Down Comic Strip lane: Trigger your client’s memory and ask them about their favorite childhood comic strips.

2. Comic Convince: Set up a situation for a persuasive argument. Have your client convince you of the benefits of reading comics .

3. Comic Culture: Discuss the different types of comics and what they convey. Point out the humour, cultural issues, politics etc.

4. Comic Critics: Analyse a strip for the content. Discuss vocabulary used and choice of graphics, expressions. Discuss which comics could be used as graphics in a presentation, in brainstorming sessions for for lead in to  a topic . Make this relevant to their place of work.

5. Comic Comprehension:  Have your client read strips related to current events, business, politics  for  a whole week. If possible have them bring the strips they read to your next session.  Discuss the issues raised in the strips in the following session.

Ideas for using comics with small groups.

6. Comic Combinations: This is an engaging activity that can be done in small groups.

1. Print out several different comic strips by the same author. For example 4 different Charlie Brown comic strips.

2. Photocopy the strip

3. Cut the strips up into boxes and put them into envelopes for each group.

4. Have the groups put them back together.

5. Discuss the strategies they used

6. Discuss the main idea of each strip

7. Review vocabulary

7. Comic Comments

1. Photocopy an original comic strip.

2. White out the dialogue in one of the balloons in each strip.

3. Photocopy the new version of the comic and make copies groups of students. Enlarge if possible so that groups can work together on one copy.

3. Have students work in groups and recreate the dialogue.

4. Compare the new dialogues within the groups and with the original.

Here are resources to Online comic strips

8. Comic Creation: Have students create their own comic strips using these online comic strip creators below. Students can print and bring to class. Or if you have a blog or MOODLE course you can include links or embed your students creations into the Moodle course for everyone to see. Do you need your own website to host a moodle Course? Click here for information on how to get your own website and domain.

Online Comic Strip Creators

  • Bitstrips: You can use ready made characters or create your own and place them in the strip and embed into your own website. Fun and easy to use.
  • Toondoo: Toondoo has many different features for creation of strips in terms of characters and backdrops. You can also create a flipbook of your comic strip as I have here.
  • Pixton : Pixton comic strip creator has created a private learning environment for schools.

Here is a comic strip I created on toondoo. Scroll down to read it.


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