About the project

Fluency in English is a key skill in Europe for employability

According to the latest EU Survey on Language Competencies, 2012, English is by far the most taught foreign language in nearly all EU countries at all educational levels. Furthermore, the Commission Study on Foreign Language Proficiency and Employability (2015) revealed that over 4 in 5 employers interviewed stated that English was the most useful language in all sectors and in almost all non-English speaking countries.

But, even though most secondary schools’ students study English (94% of upper secondary students in the EU studied English in 2016 according to Eurostat), this critical skill on the job market is not mastered by all learners.

Visual material such as comics are perceived as easy tools to study languages, but they have limits

While more than 98% of teachers surveyed by the French Association of Publishers stated that they perceived the pedagogical potential of comics, only 30% of them had use them as part of their teaching practice in the previous year, mostly due to a lack of practical guidance.

The educational advantages of comics in the classroom are well identified in theory:

  • They allow to turn lessons into stories, which makes concepts less abstract.
  • They can be perceived as informal learning resources in complement to text lessons, thus less intimidating to students who have difficulties.
  • They provide visual articulation cues which supports the reader to read at their own pace and go back to the critical points more easily.
  • When the reader is trained to make a comics strip or page, comics become a means of self- expression and knowledge restitution.

In practice, however, it appears that the potential of comics as educative tools is not yet realised in education institutions in general. The 2017 National Comics Conference in Angouleme (France), tackled the barriers that prevent comics from actually entering the classroom. Their main findings were the following:

  • Comics still suffer from a negative image as being a “light medium” not suitable to support actual learning.
  • There is a lack of official guidance as to which comics to use and how to integrate them in teaching practices.
  • Teachers consider it difficult to identify comics that fit with the programme.
  • Even when comics are used, teachers focus on the text and are not equipped to analyse illustrations.
  • Comics are more expensive than other books and are difficult to acquire for school libraries and for students.

In addition to these barriers, it is important to note other obstacles:

  • Not all comics are accessible to learners with SLDs
  • Cultural barriers can make it more difficult for teachers to feel equipped to use different forms of comics that can be popular with teenagers.

There is a need to develop teachers’ ICT skills and alternative and inclusive pedagogical tools

With the development of accessible online resources, there has been a growing interest from teachers to develop new ways to present their lessons, including comics strips & comic pages. Several online tools and platforms exist today to support this effort, relieving teachers from being able to draw to create their own comics for the classroom. However, they also need guidance as to how to integrate comics in their lessons and in the wider school programme.

This is why we bring this project to support teachers to use and create pedagogical comics for innovative pedagogy

EdComix aims to create a methodology to make the most of comics as a pedagogical tool to learn English in an inclusive way (Specific Learning Disorders, cultural differences) by developing a set of tools that will support teachers in implementing an innovative pedagogy with the use of comic strips and pages. At the same time, EdComix will provide teachers with guidance and training material to support their capacity to create pages for their own needs and to propose tools for comic creation to their students.

With these aims, EdComix will help develop teacher’s technical skills in creating inclusive digital comics for practical use tailored to their classrooms’ needs. It will also strengthen secondary students’ skills in English language and add offer an alternative and inclusive approach to learning.

On this website we use first or third-party tools that store small files (cookie) on your device. Cookies are normally used to allow the site to run properly (technical cookies), to generate navigation usage reports (statistics cookies) and to suitable advertise our services/products (profiling cookies). We can directly use technical cookies, but you have the right to choose whether or not to enable statistical and profiling cookies. Enabling these cookies, you help us to offer you a better experience.