Monday, February 6, 2006

garfield and friends

I asked my mother to send me the Sunday comics. For one thing, I like to read them, but my true purpose was that I thought they might be useful teaching tools. What could be better than a four or five frame illustrated conversation to explain the idioms of American language and culture?

Unfortunately, it turns out that the comics have changed considerably since I was a kid. I recall happy Sunday afternoons spent reading the four pages of colorful comics, only skipping over a few that I thought were too boring or grown-up. Of the pages I have received lately, however, it seems that only three or four strips are still aimed at a younger audience; the rest are all political or social commentaries with loads of cultural baggage attached.

I brought a few editions to my last class and they were impressed by the layout, the color, and reading comics from left to right. But I as far as reading comprehension goes, Garfield, Luann, and Peanuts were all they could handle. I had to skip the rest for fear of being unable to explain the words, social context, or humor. It seems that while I’ve been dealing with the differences between “a” and “the,” all of the cute little cats, pigs, penguins, and dogs in the Sunday comics have been studying adult vocabularly and watching the news.

No comments: