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Journal > Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy

Critical Literacies and Graphic Novels for English-Language Learners: Teaching Maus

by Christian W. Chun

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Critical Literacies and Graphic Novels for English-Language Learners: Teaching Maus

Grades 9 – 12
Type Journal
Published October 2009
Publisher International Literacy Association



Graphic novels can be used in the secondary school classroom as part of a multiliteracies approach to help develop critical literacies of English-language learner (ELL) students. One particular graphic novel, Maus, is discussed as a possible teaching resource. Intellectually substantive graphic novels that foreground racism and immigrant otherness often resonate with ELL students. These texts' multimodalities along with their engaging content reflecting the diverse identities present in many classrooms work in tandem to help deepen the students' reading engagement. For ELL students, their increased engagement via graphic novels can facilitate their entry and apprenticeship into important social networks that amplify opportunities for academic success in mainstream classes. Reporting from a collaborated pilot study of teaching Maus in an ELL high school class, I conclude by examining how it can be used to develop and draw on students' multiliteracies practices.

Chun, C.W. (2009, October). Critical Literacies and Graphic Novels for English-Language Learners: Teaching Maus. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 53(2), 144153. doi: 10.1598/JAAL.53.2.5


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