Almost every childhood is characterized by an ardent love for comic books and strips. They outstrip novels in reach and popularity by a wide margin. However, novels were traditionally considered more effective in learning English vocabulary. While it may hold sense for advance learners of English, those who are beginners in English learning would be overwhelmed by the complexity of the words and size of the books. Recognizing this, experts now suggest taking up reading comic books for beginners. So what is it that makes comics strips and books a vital tool for learning basic English? How to take advantage of it?
Five ways to utilize comic strips and books for improving English:
1. Pick your favourite
Kids have their own favourite comic characters, usually Superman, Phantom etc. When you select a favourite, you tend to develop a rapport with them and look forward for their next issues. Select the ones that suit your tastes and preferences. Make sure you choose as many favourites as you can so that you will have a wide variety of choices.
2. Read newspaper funnies
Every newspaper has a funny comic strip column. Stick to a habit of going through them for your daily dose of English words. It also serves as a pleasant excuse to read the entire newspaper, thus further enhancing your English. Start your hectic day on a lighter side with the help of cute newspaper funnies.
3. Understand the situation
Every comic book and story has a situation or story behind it. Visualize the scenario and delve into it further with the help of a dictionary or online research. For example, if superman saves a city from nuclear disaster, research about the terminology used in nuclear science. This will further arouse your interest and curiosity in the story and will also further your cognitive abilities.
4. Understand the beginning
Where did the comic story come from? What was the inspiration behind the writer's creation? Research about this will give you a general idea about your comic character. You can even boast about it with your friends by sharing your knowledge.
5. Understand the funny phrases
Comic strips like family circus, pearls before swine, use many comic phrases that have double meaning. Unless you understand it, you will not get the gist of the story. You can then apply it in your daily conversations as well. You will get an idea when to use such phrases in what situations. Your English conversational skills will be greatly improved by consistent research and practice.
The above five points will help to make comics a great ally for your English learning journey. Enjoy it as your favorite character takes on villains and comedy stars spin humor. Consistent comic reading is a great and fun way to improve your English skills. Age is not a bar in enjoying comics; you now have a great excuse to enjoy them anytime. In case you come across difficult words or phrases, you can clarify it with the help of a dictionary or an online English teacher.
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- By Chander Madan
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