Sep 19, 2018
Deborah Begoray, PhD
Graphic novels in adolescent literacy learning

To be fully literate, today’s teens need to develop their ability to read, write, speak, listen, view and visually represent. While some adults may lament the days when only readin’, and writin’ dominated English classrooms, many of us now acknowledge that new literacy skills are necessary in this century. Involving adolescents in creating graphic (comic book style) novels has great potential to engage them actively in all forms of communication.  This approach also develops skills in teamwork and builds self-confidence. As education continues to evolve, this graphic novel approach is one way to meet teens where they are and help them to meet the future.

Deborah L. Begoray, PhD, is a Professor of Literacy Education and Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Faculty of Education, University of Victoria. She does literacy and health literacy teaching and research in a variety of contexts and with a wide range of learners especially adolescents. Deborah writes extensively on literacy research in communities, both rural and urban, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, where she examines at the use of adolescent-produced graphic novels as literacy resources. Her major publications on literacy include her work as lead editor and contributing author of Adolescent Health Literacy and Learning (2015) and Health Literacy in Context: International Perspectives (2012) and lead author of Mediating Health: The Powerful Role of the Media as Adolescent Health Literacy Educator (2009). She is currently initiating a research project with Greater Victoria Public Libraries investigating the library’s impact on the creation of healthy communities.