4 Ways Comic Books Can Improve Literacy Skills

Jul 17, 2021


Reading comic books is a great way to improve language and literacy skills among adults and children. The books contain homophones, homonyms, and idioms between pictures and text that act as learning “boosters”.

The colossus, which appears like a huge metal guy, can enable learners to understand the meaning of the word colossus. The characters in comic books are good vocabulary learning tools and they create a fun way of learning.  Let’s look at four ways comic books can improve literacy skills. 

Reading comprehension

Comic books contain sequential artwork that provides a solid foundation for boosting reading comprehension abilities. The readers must go through all the details in the books, synthesize information, and draw interpretations.

Through images and text interactions, readers visualize and understand the story. Comic books are known to display relationships between visual images and words which enable readers to imagine what they read. The more they read, the quicker and easier they develop their reading understanding skills. 

Any confusion regarding the understanding of characters, the setting, and the plot may have a solid representation in a visual. The pictures enhance comprehension by minimizing the cognitive burden of detailed text and sophisticated concepts. 

Students use the verbal and imagery system in learning how to read and write. When they make connections between these two elements simultaneously when reading, they can understand concepts better and remember events surrounding the narratives. 


Comic books have elements such as characters, setting, rising action, resolution, and falling action. Reading comic books can enable adult learners to connect panels in comic books with paragraphing. Some panels don’t have accompanying text, but all panels will reveal the element of a story.

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The learners can practice writing skills by writing paragraphs based on what they see. They can use the skills to write essays, dissertations, and other assignments at the university level.

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Comic books expose learners to dialogue, which is useful for English learners. The text in the books is simplified and short with images displaying different dialogue expressions. For a student with no understanding of the English language, it will enable them to read and visualize expressions on the faces of characters and understand the meaning. 

Teachers can read the comic books aloud during educational events such as reading/writing workshops. This can enable the English language students to learn different reading practices. Teachers can use the comics to teach many aspects of reading processes including reading for dialogue recognition and identifying a problem or solution structure in a narrative.

Comic books present characters engaging in conversations and this can encourage readers to continue reading. The impressive visuals enable readers to be emotionally involved with the story characters and what they want to achieve. Lengthier conversations keep readers engaged in the dialogue and also enhance it. 

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Ordinary novels often make students overwhelmed by massive text information. Comic books constitute small text amounts that provide the basis of complex and longer texts. With the small text amounts, readers can have access to lots of details without the need to decode words.

Reluctant readers can be enticed by comic books because the visually stimulating stories provide the basis for a better understanding of a narrative. The readers can get into the depth of a story and acquire inference and general comprehension without struggling as they would with a traditional novel. 

The books restrict complex and ambitious narratives by maintaining graphic narratives connected to funnies, superheroes, and sensationalism. Readers get encouraged to question the motives of authors, analyzing specific viewpoints, understanding the significance of events and themes, and making judgments. 


Comic books are a great source of inspiration for improving literacy skills through reading comprehension, writing, dialogue, and motivation. Comics introduce learners to character development and story structure concepts, enabling them to understand the tone, mood, irony, humor, and so on. The teachers’ collection of instructional materials may include printed books, online materials, and novels. Teachers should also consider incorporating comic books as part of instructional materials to promote reading and writing. 

Author’s Bio:

Joshua Robinson loves nothing more than writing. It’s been his passion since he was in high school and since then, he has worked on a variety of projects ranging from school magazines to a leading state daily. His writing has won him several awards and he plans to take it one step further by working for a national daily or the best academic writing service.


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