Graphic Novels in Foreign Language Learning

Over the past decades the graphic novel has witnessed both increased popularity among readers as well as cultural and intellectual prestige among critics and academics alike – but what is its place within the foreign language classroom? Through a case study of first-year Spanish instruction, this presentation will address strategies for how language instructors can capitalize on the appeal of graphic novels to undergraduates, and will explore how the interaction of image and text in a graphic novel can enrich the teaching of grammatical constructions and vocabulary, historical and cultural subject matter, and the comprehension and analysis of narratives. I will pay particular attention to both the challenges and benefits that graphic novels pose for the foreign language teacher from their authentic use of the target language to their handling of sensitive topics and material.

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