Think of comics and many of us reflect on our favourite superheroes from our childhoods. Comics aren’t just for kids, though. People of all ages can enjoy comics and some are specifically written with adults in mind. There are other benefits to reading comics, as well — especially for learning English. Here are some great reasons to practise English by reading comics.
Visual context helps you learn
Having pictures as well as words makes it easier to guess the meaning of unknown words from context. It also gives context of the situation in which language might be used. This is especially useful for visual learners and means that rather than remembering a word and its translation into your mother tongue, you have a visual representation of the word that you can remember.
Written how people speak
Most of the text in comics is speech or what the characters are thinking. This makes them a great place to find out about words and phrases used in a real conversation. Of course, a conversation in a comic might not always cover the same topics as one in everyday life – especially if it’s an unusual story.
Different vocabulary and register
Looking at how the characters speak to each other is a great way of finding out which words and expressions are used by which kinds of people and in which kinds of situations. Look at who the characters are talking to and what the context is to get an insight into formal and informal ways of speaking.
Shorter sections of text are more manageable
Books and articles can be very long. Comics, on the other hand, use short sections of text which are much more manageable for English learners to understand. If you find reading longer texts a drag, try comics to start with then work up to more in-depth texts.
Comics are designed to be enjoyable and learning should be fun, too. Enjoy reading and you will get all the benefits above without it seeming like a chore.
So, what are your favourite comics? If you’ve not read one recently, what comics did you like as a child and do you think you could read them in English?