How a graphic novel lets students talk..

Migration/Immigration is one of the main topics in our English curriculum in year 12 and it offers manifold options in the EFL classroom to engage students actively and especially to promote speaking skills by means of various forms of discussions.

While looking for discussion scenarios I came across an article published in the FSU English 110 “Migration” ( offering a lesson plan for a speaking activity based on the graphic novel “The Arrival” by Shaun Tan

I chose two extracts from the novel ( each two pages with 8-12 little pictures) and divided the class in two groups preparing a 3-minute-presentation. Since the setting of the novel is imaginary, it can be approached in manifold ways. Students were then asked to form new groups presenting their previous results to their new partners. Finally, they collected reasons for emigration/immigration (push-and-pull-factors).

Graphic novel_The Arrival_push and pull factors

The lesson turned out to be highly active and students responded very positively to this quite different form of presentation. Subsequent tasks are now that some students want to narrate the stories or/and to write speech bubbles for each picture.

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