Graphic novels

If you like graphic novels, they're a great way to improve your English.

Graphic novels

The pictures are motivating and they help students to understand the language. However the words are not in easy English.

In your language, the graphic novel might be the comic book, roman graphique, bande dessinée, BD, novela gráfica, romance gráfico, romanzo grafico, striproman, sarjakuvakirja, Графический роман, Powieść graficzna or novel grafik.

We're all different (fortunately), and graphic novels are not really a big part of my life. I do like Asterix, and I quite like some of the books by Moebius, Carin-Rivière, Vicomte, Lob-Gotlib-Solé and Enki Bilal.

When I teach B2 and C1 students I enjoy using the Asterix books, by Goscinny and Uderzo. There are 35 books, and numbers 1-25 are good for both adults and children. They're charming and funny, with a lot of idiomatic language. They're available in English and every other language as well as the original French. The words are not in easy English, but the pictures are motivating and they help you to understand the language.

Asterix example

In class, I often ask my Advanced students to read a different Asterix story silently for 5 minutes. Then each student has 2 minutes to tell that part of the story to the other students, using clear and interesting English.

A bit of Asterix helps tired students to wake up in the morning - like a cup of strong coffee.

There's some strange vocabulary in the Asterix books, including some Latin, so I give the students a glossary of the unusual words, phrases and word games.

Click below for my glossaries for:
Tintin example


Of course, there are thousands more graphic novels, by hundreds of authors and ilustrators. For example, there are 24 books in Hergé's Tintin series, plus a 2011 film by Steven Spielberg called The Adventures of Tintin, and they have been translated into many languages. The hero is also called Tintín, Tintim, Tintino, Tintiņa, Tinna, Tim, Kuifje, Kuifie, Tenten, Τεντέν and Тинтин.