An argument has been ravaging on for decades between academics whether comic book and graphic novels have any benefit at all to the reader. And young readers in particular just look at the images and don’t really pay much attention to the text.
However, there is a common trend of thought that comic books are particularly good for young readers. After all they are just simplified versions of narratives, that could encourage children to read books. In this modern-day world, there are many distractions for kids, and these do not particularly help teachers trying to teach reading. There are many ways the simple comic book can aid children’s learning and we begin with the improvement of inferencing skills.
The Improvement of Inferencing Skills
Inferencing means having the quality to read between the lines of a text, a sort of scanning. This means if a child does not know the meaning of a word then he can gain what it means by the association of the other words around it, to get the context of what it means. Inferencing has been proven to improve people’s comprehension of a text, and in the case of comics this is particularly valid as the children can visualize what they are trying to understand. A wall of words can be hard to decipher, but add graphic imagery to it and it is much easier to understand.
Increasing the vocabulary of a young reader is sometimes hard to do, and when young minds cannot understand something they tend to do one of two things, give up or ignore it. The imagery of comics help to solidify in the mind the meaning of a word, as they can both see and read it. Therefore, this strengthens the chance of the child remembering what a word means, as they have a second reference point to go back to. Together with inferencing, this speeds up the learning process of ideas, concepts, and words.
Open Up the Imagination
Reading is the best way to stimulate the imagination, the written word conjurers up images in the mind that can put you in a magical kingdom, or deep under the sea. And drawings and pictures can create even more imagery for a child to enjoy. Most of the artists that illustrate books and comics today grew up reading comics, and it was their inspiration to enter into a wonderful career path. If your kids never pick up a comic book, then how will they ever know if they want to be a graphic artist or not? Illustrating comics and books is a fine career, and some artists are highly paid for their work as well as having one of the most creative jobs on the planet.
These three great reasons for your kid to pick up a comic book and start to read are not the only benefits that comics and graphic novels can aid their development in so many different ways. They will also gain interest in reading in general and of course have oodles of fun learning to read.