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Comics Boost Literacy

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DiplomaWe’ve ran some previous articles, and our anecdotal evidence would suggest this, but our neighbors to the north the Canadian Council on Learning have backed up what we all know, comic books boost literacy.

The CCL’s findings suggest that comic books and graphic novels could help promote literacy in “young boys—who have traditionally lagged behind girls in reading.”

According to the Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation (OECD) comic books are the second most-popular reading material for boys, following newspapers or magazines. Additional research shows that three-quarters (75%) of elementary school-aged boys reported reading comics; compared to only half (50%) of elementary school-aged girls.

The suggests that comic books make be an effective gateway for boys to read and that they help develop visual literacy.

As well, reading comic books can help develop many of the same literacy skills as reading prose-based books such as:

  • the ability to follow a sequence of events,
  • the ability to connect narratives to the reader’s  own experiences,
  • the ability to predict what will happen next, and
  • the ability to interpret symbols.

They have also been found to be helpful when it comes to:

  • Understanding reading material before one can read,
  • Teaching aid for second language learners,
  • Teaching aid for those with learning disabilities.

You can read the full report here.

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