Aren’t comics cool? They use interesting characters, action, and graphics to make the story come alive. Spanish comics make excellent reading material for kids learning the language.
Rockalingua is now creating Spanish comics for language learners. In addition to print, they are making the comics available in a video format with native-speaker audio. This is a fabulous language learning resource!
Below you can read about why I like Spanish comics so much and see a few suggestions for using them in class. This is the first page of the first comic called El ladrón de colores.
Spanish Comics: Video and Download
Watch the first video comic featuring the characters Tapón and Luna.
You can download a printable version of the first comic in this worksheet set. You will find other useful activities in the packet too.
Context and Graphics
Spanish comics break stories into small episodes, each with a small amount of text and a picture. Spanish learners have limited vocabularies, so they need this context to understand unfamiliar words. They use the pictures and the story line to deduce what makes sense and understand new language.
Talk about the pictures in each frame by asking forced-choice questions that help students learn new vocabulary and understand the action: ¿De qué color es todo? ¿Rojo o gris? ¿Que lleva el señor? ¿Colores o flores?
Describe one of the frames and have students identify which you are talking about. You will want to number the frames first.: En este dibujo, Luna mira por la ventana. Tapón mira a Luna e indica con el dedo el señor que lleva los colores.
This is my favorite feature of Spanish comics! By definition, comics are constructed almost entirely of dialog, with almost no third-person narration. Why does this matter? First, dialog is easier to understand because there is less descriptive language. It is plot-focused and easier to follow. Next, kids read language they can use. In other words, it is speech, from the correct point of view and at the correct register – it is what people really say in a specific situation.
Because Spanish comics are dialog, they are perfect for reader’s theater and acting out in class. On a regular basis, I have readers asking where they can get reader’s theater, and now I will have a great a recommendation.
Have students read the comic as a readers theater or act it out.
The Spanish comics from Rockalingua are also available in video with excellent native speaker narration. The audio builds listening skills and helps students acquire natural rhythm and correct pronunciation. In addition, the expression in the voice over helps students understand the action of the story.
Use the video/audio to encourage independent reading. Students can listen and read along during center time.
Kids like comics and most kids will choose Spanish comics over a story with only a few pictures or a paragraph of text. The format of a comic is less intimidating and it breaks down the content into manageable pieces. The structure also allows for patterns and repetition, which are helpful to students. Do be aware however, that there is a lot of language in these Spanish comics.
These Spanish comics are coordinated with the other Rockalingua themes, so you will find songs, printable activities and online games to support the content.