Within the last few months within which I started studying to become an English teacher, I heard my teachers at school and teachers during my practicum rave about the benefits of having the children write as much as possible. Indeed, while it helps for the children to improve their ability to write and is a good opportunity for teachers to keep track of the students’ improvement in grammar it allows to see how well they are capable of expressing opinions in their second language that is English.
Although I strongly believe that writing is an incredible way of making progress while learning a language, I find that it is not the majority of students who is much enthusiast at writing. Either because the inspiration is not there or because it simply does not interests them. It goes a little bit along the fact that they nglish.
won’t be very enthusiast at the idea of reading a book. They would rather read a comic book, right? At least I remember that was my opinion when I was a child myself.
All this brought me to my search for ways to make writing less painful to them. Well, I found a very interesting website that would help making the writing not less painful but actually very fun. What I found is a website that allows the creation of comic stripes: ToonDoo!
The process to creating our own comic strip on Toondoo is extremely simple. After freely subscri
bing to the website, you can go ahead and start a first comic strip. To do so, you choose the layout of your strip, then you can customize it by either choosing an image from the bank of images that are available or upload one of your own, and then by adding dialogues, title, and other features that makes a proper comic strip.
There are many ways in which Toondoo can be used in teaching. As mentioned earlier, it can be used directly by the students. For example, I could simply ask them make a comic strip. But also, I could assign a specific story line that they would have to develop and make one comic strip in teams or individually. When the comic strips are done, I could put them all in order in a book, which is an option available on the website. Either way, the students would be given a chance to develop a story without feeling like they are working anyhow.
I also thought that Toondoo could be used to revise the materials covered in class such as past tense verbs. Indeed, the teacher can prepare a one or more comic strips before the class in which he or she would have left some blanks instead of past tense verbs for the students to give the right answer. It would be a good way to have them practicing while keeping them interested.
I strongly believe that Toondoo is a great way to create activities based on the student’s interest. It is often difficult to get every student in the classroom interested in activities, but this is just what Toondoo is for. It gives the opportunity to have the students interested in the activity by allowing them to choose topic they like and to have fun while creating their own comic strip. You can even add to it a bit of cooperative learning by having students share their work and make comments on them.