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Going Graphic

Going Graphic

Comics at Work in the Multilingual Classroom

By Stephen Cary

Building on the latest research, second language acquisition theory, and progressive literacy principles, Stephen offers twenty-five proven activities for comics-based instruction in all classrooms, especially TESL/TEFL settings, and for all grade and English-proficiency levels.

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Full Description

    With Going Graphic, Stephen Cary has done it again, producing another exceptional resource for teachers of second language learners. But this time he focuses on a genre with great appeal to students, comic books, carefully tailoring his message to teachers' questions and concerns. He offers theoretical and research grounds for using comics, a wealth of historical and cross-cultural information on comics, and detailed descriptions of rich activities integrating comics, content, critical literacy, and social action. Who could ask for anything more?
    —Carol Edelsky, Arizona State University
    Stephen Cary is a genius! This is a fabulous collection of comics-based activities with suggestions, rationales, and wonderful resources. It will be on my gift list for all my teacher friends. If you have second language learners in your classroom you will love this book!
    —Gloria Norton, coauthor of A Jumpstart to Literacy
    Going Graphic entertains as much as it teaches. Stephen Cary offers all teachers effective, useful insights into language and learning that will help you turn not just second language learners but all students into readers.
    —Jim Burke, author of School Smarts
    Bound to be the ultimate handbook on the use of comics, cartoons and graphic novels for teaching a second language, Going Graphic provides data to support the use of comics in the classroom, and the activity ideas to get started.
    —Nancy Brenner, Librarian, Sequoia Middle School, Pleasant Hill, CA
    Going Graphic is a gift to ESL teachers and their students. This is the perfect book for anyone who wants to inspire rich vocabulary, discussion, and a sense of excitement in their students.
    —Pam Heyda, author of The Primary Teacher's Survival Guide
    Going Graphic delivers comic relief for busy ESL teachers. Stephen Cary provides a superhero-sized selection of research-based practical activities teachers can use with second language learners at all levels, from square one to most advanced.
    —Yvonne and David Freeman, authors of Dual Language Essentials

Comics are a natural for second language development. Their unique mix of abundant, comprehension-building visuals and authentic text readily engages learners, contextualizes language, and offers a window into the culture. Yet despite their obvious advantages, comics remain unfairly branded as inappropriate classroom reading material, misunderstood and woefully underutilized. No more.

In Going Graphic teachers will find a comprehensive guide to embracing comics and effectively using them in any multilingual classroom. Building on the latest brain-based research, second language acquisition theory, and progressive literacy principles, Stephen Cary offers twenty-five proven activities for comics-based instruction in all classrooms, especially TESL/TEFL settings, and for all grade and English-proficiency levels.

These activities help nonnative and native learners alike meet a broad range of content and English-language development standards.

In fact, Cary has given you literally everything you need to start successfully integrating comics into your classroom tomorrow, including:

  • an FAQ that dispels the myths about comics, tells you why they work, and answers your questions about using them
  • field sketches from real classrooms that show you firsthand how to make comics an integral part of your multilingual teaching
  • authentic examples of student work from a variety of grade levels and settings that reveal just how much students can do when given the opportunity to both learn from comics and create their own
  • dozens of commercial samples to give you a sense of the remarkable breadth and depth of contemporary cartoons, comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels
  • copious resource lists, including material reviews, publications, comics in other languages, and categorized websites for locating and reading thousands of comics online.
Thanks to Stephen Cary you'll have an exciting new way to improve the abilities of your second language students. Squeeze into your tights, adjust your cape, and prepare for some high-flying learning while Going Graphic.

(click any section below to continue reading)


1 Theory and Research
A Look at the Research
Part One: Commercial Comics
Part Two: Student–Made Comics
2. Questions
Teachers’ Questions About Comics
Curriculum Fit
Variety and Availability
Cost and Durability
3. Activities
Missing Panels
Funny or Not?
Interactive Journals
Word Study
Panel Detectives
Time Traveler
Comics from Scratch
Quick Takes
Free Voluntary Reading
Between the Panels
Power Words
What Would Snoopy Say?
Character Interviews
Character Report Card
Write the Artist
4. Resources
Comic Reviews
Online Reviews
Online Comics
Special Interests
Comics in Other Languages
Other Resources
About the Author