i-Learner Education Centre

Steps to Success » Wider Reading

Learning through Comics and Cartoons

Comics, graphic novels and cartoons are great ways to get your child learning English. Students of all ages can be put off by too many grammar exercises, so it’s great to use a range of tools to keep them engaged. Even students who are reluctant to speak or write in English are excited by comics and cartoons, and their dislike of English can soon be turned to enjoyment.

Kindergarten

Little ones always like looking at colourful images and vivid videos than black and white words. Watching videos of classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes is the perfect way to expose young learners to a new language. Start with cartoons such as Martha Speaks and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to build basic vocabulary. Then, you can move on to shows with plots and morals like Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol. Words are pronounced clearly and slowly in cartoons, and difficult words will usually be explained. The visual images also correspond to the audio, which helps young learners recognise the picture and the pronunciation.

Primary

For primary students, Bugbug’s Library is the best visual aid for learning English. It mainly consists of image-rich stories that each focus on a grammar topic or phonetic sound. It is very suitable for local Hong Kong students. Readers who love vibrant pictures with their text can also explore classic comics such as Garfield, Peanuts and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid. They are more approachable than wordy novels that may intimidate reluctant readers. Animated films such as Inside Out, Coco and Moana can also help them build up their vocabulary and get used to story elements such as plot, conflicts and characterisation. Ted-Ed Videos is another wonderful source that touches upon language, STEM, historical and even philosophical topics.

Secondary

Older and more mature students are recommended to look at newspaper cartoons that often talk about current social issues in a humorous and sarcastic way. It is a more appealing way to bring up social issues and to stay informed. In addition, they can also watch animated film adaptations of classic literary works such as Peter Pan, The Tale of Despereaux, Charlotte’s Web, A Christmas Carol, etc. Watching a film version may help them understand the themes of the story more easily and ease their path into literary analysis.