July 15th, 2013

Reading between the Pictures”: Immigrant Students’ Interpretations of The Arrival

I was intrigued by the title of this article, usually I would assume it would be “reading between the lines,” however, “reading between the pictures” was different, original, and a different type of literacy, unconventional so to speak. But then again, isn’t this what this course is about?

The article did a great job differentiating instruction by incorporating bilingual discussions, small groups, wordless picture books, graphic novels, and other literacy club practices. I think a wordless graphic novel is an excellent resource for ELL’s! I can’t speak to the many of times I’ve heard teachers knock graphic novels for a number of reasons but this article is further back to the importance and implementation of this type of literacy. I have not used a wordless picture book or a graphic novel in my personal classroom for instruction but I am more than open to the idea. I had a student my second year of teaching who use to check out graphic novels from the media center and her personality and interests fit that choice. I never tried to steer her away from this personal choice or option.

The article was very practical and I was happy as an educator to see the section, Strategies for Discussing Wordless Picture books, case studies of students, teacher input, and literacy club strategies. The article resonated with me because it was very inquiry based in its instruction.

I am in agreement with the authors in this text because I feel like students that are EC, ELL, ESL, etc. need chances to not be so caught up of the words, language, and the fear surrounding making a mistake but that they get to be creative and meaningful and build comprehension that way. For that purpose I include the argument that authors make, “For the immigrant students in this study, having access to that space between the pictures offered by Tan’s wordless text gave them the opportunity to enjoy making meaning from text without struggling with the words they were still learning (196).”