The benefits of comics implementation in ESL classroom

Using Digital Comics in Teaching ESL Writing

Using Digital Comics in Teaching ESL Writing


  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Vocabulary
  • Activities
  • Tips & Strategies
  • Methodology

Everyone loooves comics! And if you don’t, have you even tried to read them? However, the question is whether it is possible to use such an amusing thing as comics to develop your students’ writing skills within ESL class. 

Grade University professionals have collected some ideas on this matter.

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What are the reasons for using comics in ESL?

Now more and more ESL teachers refer to so-called ICT, which stands for Information and Communication Technology.

What it really means is that students are encouraged to use e-books, journals, authentic articles, films, various speeches, and conversations to broaden their language learning experience.

ESL teachers agree that implementing ICT boosts students’ interest and makes them feel as if they are learning something very applicable and interesting. Therefore, specialists see higher levels of effectiveness and better overall final results. 

Comics belong to ICT as well.

Comics increase students' attention level

What are the advantages of using digital comics in ESL?

  • Increases the level of engagement. Of course, using comics is much more interesting than going through repetitive activities. As a result, you get a motivated and engaged student.
  • Boosts retention. Undoubtedly, using comics during your English lesson is memorable. So is the information that has been used during this work. Therefore, retention grows.
  • Helps to work with low-achieving students. Studies show that using comics during the ESL lesson is especially effective with low-achieving students who are extremely unmotivated to learn English. Interactive form, fun plot, and feeling that you are not dealing with writing tasks per se can really make the difference in such cases.

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  • Refocuses attention. Writing tasks always feel time-consuming and tiring even before the students start completing them. Using comics can change this impression through refocusing attention. After all, “create comics” sounds much more fascinating than “write an essay on the topic”.
  • Can be potentially used further for developing other skills. Creating comics is a very eclectic task. It is not only about writing but also about the potential for creating such activities as speaking in the form of comparing the stories students have. Therefore, creating comics may become a great transition for a fun speaking activity, for example.

Create the best flashcards!

What activities can you create with the help of the comics?

Fill in the speech bubble

For this activity, the teacher has to prepare a set of pictures that look like unfinished comics. The speech bubbles are supposed to be empty. Students have to look at their pictures and come up with a story. They also have to think about the dialogues and fill in the empty speech bubbles. This activity is a very engaging and fun way to make your students write a short story.

Create your own comics by filling in the bubbles

Recreate the story

A teacher is supposed to pick up short comics for the class. Students get their handouts and read the comics. After they are done, they have to describe what has happened in the story. This is a great chance for students to practice using target vocabulary and grammar correctly. And generally, this task requires as much attentiveness as any other writing assignment.

Short stories you can use in your class

Draw yourself!

This is where it gets super creative. You may write down certain target words or grammar structures and ask students to create their own comics using this information. They can write and draw and then compare their stories. You may as well turn it into a great collaborative team game.

Can a comic book assist in working with law-achievement students?

Article authors & editors
  • Arina Kravchenko

    Arina Kravchenko


    Teacher of General English & IELTS



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