Did you watch superhero cartoons or did you read comics when you were a child? Do you think that comics have beneficial effects on language learning? For those who believe so, I have to present a very entertaining application for creating your own comic or have your students create their comics as well. In order to find this application, you have to visit the internet website http://.superherosquad marvel.com and then click on the “Create Your Own Comic” option.
This site is primarily an entertaining site, since it is about a popular comic series in United Kingdom and in other countries as well, called ‘The Super Hero Squad Show’. This cartoon series portrays the characters of the Marvel Universe (eg Wolverine, Captain America, Ironman and many others) in a cartoonish super-deformed-style. However, you, teachers, do not have to worry that this website is only about games and entertainment. Its comic-creating option is both fascinating and quite educational for your students.
Back to the comic design now. Once you have clicked on the “Create Your Own Comic” option, you have to select if you are going to create either a small comic strip or a whole comic book. Although you are going to use the comic strip in your lesson, I am sure that almost all of your students will be so fascinated that they will visit the website from their PCs and they will spend a lot of time trying to create their own comics.
By using the application, you are going to realize that you can select everything that is going to be inserted in your comic. You can choose comic strip style, background, characters (I wish there were even more characters available), added objects and dialogue bullets. Once you have put these items in your comic strip, you are able to maximize, minimize, rotate or even delete any item that does not suit you. When you finish, you can either print your outcome or you can download it to your computer as an image (.pdf) file. The only drawback of the site is that, although it is fast, it is Flash-heavy which means that you may need a fast Internet connection in order to run the application from many computers simultaneously.
Benefits of the site:
It is a site that can be used with different levels of students. Although the whole concept of using a comic strip in the teaching process may seem childish, it can work with older students as well. You can create a number of your own comics that you will hand in your younger students (one in every lesson). In this way, young children will develop their reading skills and their vocabulary. Concerning your teenager and adult students, you will have them make their own comics, consisted of minimum 3-4 way. This will help them develop their imagination and their writing skills.
I think that your students will be greatly benefited by the usage of comics in the teaching process. They will find it as a game but through this game, they are going to improve their skills in English. I am looking forward to telling me your opinion after you have used the “super hero squad” comic-maker.