Comic Books Published to Help Students English Skills

Article excerpt

A group of highly motivated, dedicated and hard-working teachers have published a series of comic books to improve the English skills of their students.

The 21st Century English Teachers' Association of Korea has published over 70 comic books specifically designed to help students learn English using a more fun-oriented approach.

The comic books put out by the association are entertaining and instill positive values while aiding students' study of English. The comic books are written in English with accompanying Korean translations and glossaries of English words. The topics are primarily about Chinese culture and more recently, Western culture.

"We concurred that it is important to supply a general knowledge to students, not just the language," stated Jeong Seung-nam, the association's president. A reader can gain not only language skills, but also lessons in life, humor and wisdom.

The books offer lessons on work, pleasure, truth, education, leadership, humanity and friendship.

After an intense four-year preparation, most of the books came out this year. The series of books also includes short stories, fairy tales and famous wise sayings. Some of the titles included in the series are Chinese Astrology, Stories of Love, Romeo and Juliet, Principles of Feng Shui and Popular Chinese Fables. The books quote people such as Socrates, Darwin, Charles Dickens, Rembrandt, Lenin, and F.L. Wright.

A number of the comic books are in color with carefully thought out illustrations that make the stories more exciting and fun to read. The range of appeal far exceeds that of only students but would be very fascinating to adults as well.

The 20-volume Romance of Three Kingdoms, is a bestseller in the educational section of the Kyobo Book Store.

The group hopes to publish 1,000 books in the next five years and books coming out from now on will be available on CD-ROM, too. The first is a 5- volume Heroes of Water Margin. Eventually, all the comic books will be out on compact disc for computer use.

Founded by 21 teachers in 1996, the organization has since grown to a body of approximately 90 teachers from all educational levels. Nearly every member of the association is involved in producing the comic books.

There is no formal screening process for choosing the members, but the group collectively expressed their desire for only the "best teachers".

The teachers must be highly motivated, friendly, work orientated, and thoroughly dedicated to the cause. The screening process tends to happen "naturally" by the sheer fact that very few teachers can devote such time and commitment to the organization.

"As a result of sheer dedication and hard work, the association is able to complete one book every two to three weeks. Such diligent work does not come without sacrifice, which proves just how passionate these teachers are in improving the English skills of their students," the president said.

Typically, there is only one teacher from a specific school. They work on publications at home and at school between classes while other teachers are taking a rest. …