The Comics for Inclusive English Language Learning (CIELL) project aims to develop the competences of second language teachers by promoting the use of comic art, and other visual representations of knowledge. Another goal of the project to enhance the quality of language teaching materials used for teaching writing as a second language and support the needs of dyslexic learners in a socially inclusive manner.
Dyslexia & Comic Art
Dyslexia is a specific learning difference characterized by difficulties with word decoding, spelling, handwriting, reading, memory and attention span which affects around 10% of the population. Dyslexic-type difficulties also cause challenges in writing in another language, which is often assessed in high-stakes testing contexts and is an essential skill in higher education across Europe. Therefore there is strong need for new tools and raising teachers’ awareness of inclusive practices in teaching second language writing to dyslexic students.
The CIELL project is a collaboration between comic artists, language teachers and learning technology researchers, to create innovative open educational resources that enrich teaching practice and support dyslexic learners. The CIELL project is an extension of the ERASMUS+ ViLi project (https://www.viliproject.eu/) that aims to improve the visual literacies of educators, making learning more visual through static (e.g. comics, mind maps), dynamic (e.g. video) and interactive visuals (e.g. virtual reality). The CIELL project further develops static visual representations in learning.
CIELL aims to address the EU policies on social inclusion and digital competence by:
enhancing the digital competence of second language teachers by providing a Compendium of open educational resources including a Teacher’s Pack and examples of the good practice in the use of comics in education, and developing innovative teaching materials delivered in a mobile application to support visual teaching and learning practices and increase the language competence and foster social inclusion of dyslexic learners.
Specifically, the mobile app will support dyslexic students preparing for the written component of high-stakes language proficiency exams such as IELTS and Cambridge Advanced and Proficiency. The app’s focus will be on opinion essays, reviews and article writing. Writing guidelines and sample essays will be created in comic form and other visual representations such as mind maps will be offered. The topics of the essay writing will be based on the 17 United Nations goals for 2030.
The project will adopt an Educational Design Research methodology that aims to design an intervention in a real educational setting.
The project is led by Dr. Julie-Ann Sime, Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning, Lancaster University (UK), in collaboration with: AKTO (Greece); Language Centre, University of Cyprus (Cyprus), and Institute for Learning Innovation, Friedrich-Alexander University, Germany.
If you would like to find out more about the project please get in touch through the project website.
Tel. +49 (0) 9131 85 61121
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Disclaimer of liability: this project has been funded with support from the European Commission. The authors are solely responsible for the content of this publication; the Commission is not responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.