Language linkblogging

I got an e-mail from a retired educator named Thomas Hanson pointing me to three blog posts about comics as teaching tools over at Open Education.Net.

The first entry is an overview of the mediums potential, particularly for teaching reading and writing. (I hadn’t given much thought to the latter, but it makes sense.) The second offers an interview with Chris (The Graphic Classroom) Wilson, covering the subject in more detail. The third lists “The Twelve Best Comic Books for the Classroom,” which include some challenging, sometimes controversial books.

The subject of manga in the classroom doesn’t come up, and I was kind of surprised that a web search of the phrase didn’t yield many results. There are lots of sites that include Japanese comics on their lists of recommendations for younger readers, but there isn’t a whole lot that specifically addresses the category as a teaching tool. It’s not a criticism, just something that struck me as curious.

(My teacher education ended during my first year of college after a classroom observation course that convinced me that I would be eaten alive daily if I continued down that particular path.)

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At Shuchaku East, Chloe takes a fascinating look at the comparative qualities of language as they relate to manga in and out of translation.

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And speaking of translation (well, in a tangential way), Mely responds to the final volume of Kaori Yuki’s Godchild (Viz) in a hilarious, spoiler-filled essay. If you’re like me, you’ll happily read Television Without Pity recaps of shows you’d never actually watch because of the wit and enthusiasm of the writers. Even if Godchild doesn’t interest you in the slightest, go read.

(Prior to its actual publication, Godchild did interest me a great deal, but the script was so dire that I couldn’t actually read much of it without grinding my teeth to stumps.)

2 Responses to Language linkblogging

  1. Chloe says:

    I think manga’s still a bit new in the market, even now, and since it hasn’t quite acquired that educational street cred that makes is acceptable to teach a comic book, it hasn’t really been examined as a teaching tool yet.
    That said, I think there are certainly works worthy of being taught; the ever handy Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms could play the Japanese foil to, say, Maus, or perhaps be taught alongside Persepolis as a graphic cultural memoir. (Both of the former were reading requirements at my own high school.)

  2. Actually, manga is slowing making it’s way into the educator’s eyes. At least Tokyopop manga is. My kids bring home the Scholastic Book Club order forms every month, and I’m starting to see TP manga showing up. Granted, it’s mostly their OEL stuff, but TP is getting their names out there for parents and teachers to see.

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