Panels and Prose : Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Graphic Adaptations as complement to literary education in second language education
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Literature is the forgotten child of second language education. Students are expected to read a moderate number of literary novels over the course of their educational career. In practice however, they will often attempt to escape their reading obligations. Students are reading less often en and it hard to fully understand a novel’s content. Comic books offer an opportunity for students to come to grips with literary themes and content by means of a more visually oriented medium. Visual culture is the current norm for entertainment, and comic books can be an excellent bridge between more traditional forms of literature and the more contemporary visual spectacles. Comics have an experimental presence in foreign language education. Several authors have endeavoured to apply comics to education, but no concrete plans have been drawn up on the use of comics as a literary complement. A 2008 publication by Theo Witte in the field of literature education has paved the way for a more conductive and practical approach to foreign literature education. This thesis will outline and explain how comics can be approached as works of literature and used in class to teach students how to tackle more traditional literature.