Creating Comics for English Learning:
Age and Level Considerations

– Written by Louiza Kythreotou from project partner Citizens in Power (CIP)

Comics have been, time and again, highlighted as an excellent pedagogical tool, especially in the context of English language learning. They can be adapted for multiple contexts and according to the needs of educators and students and this inherent versatility is a key reason for their desired presence in the classroom.

Part of their adaptability involves the possibility to accommodate users of diverse ages and English levels to ensure that the learning process is appropriate and fitting to their needs. CEFR level specifications often define the content that the students will be exposed to. As strange as it sounds, superheroes may be universally appealing but not everyone may understand them or relate to them! Considering both age and English levels is encouraged for educators who wish to include comics in their English lessons.


Secondary school learners include a wide range of ages – from 11 to 18 years old. Younger learners may be frightened or feel uncomfortable if they are given a Wolverine or X-Men comic while older learners may find it uninteresting to read a Garfield or Calvin & Hobbes comic strip. GoComics is a useful tool for identifying which comic books may be more suitable to which learners as they classify them according to age groups and themes.

Alternatively, some comics are for everyone, no matter their age! Here, you can find 16 comics for all ages, from Marvel to DC to BOOM! Studios and Archie comics. No one is too old for comics, it’s just a matter of preference!


Apart from age considerations, English CEFR levels are equally important points when it comes to using comic books for language learning purposes. If you think about it, A1 learners will need to be exposed to relatively different content than B2 learners. Intermediate users will probably be able to comprehend more complex grammar and vocabulary as well as storylines in comparison to a beginner who can only read and write simple sentences and use basic vocabulary. A comic strip like “Maus”, which recounts events from a Nazi concentration camp, will probably be less likely to be comprehended by a basic English user than by an intermediate one. Knowing and seeking to understand learners’ needs as well as classroom needs will aid the process of picking comics that are level-appropriate but engaging at the same time!


To keep your learners interested and engaged, make sure you consider the points made above! When teaching and learning English, aim to use and/or construct comic strips that correspond to different ages and levels accordingly, so that they fit to everyone’s needs but also relate to their interests. After all, the process aims to be pedagogical but also fun and innovative! 

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