Carmen M. Marti´nez-Rolda´n and Sarah Newcomer have another exciting article with a GN connection in the issue as well. Their work in "'Reading Between the Pictures': Immigrant Students' Inteprretation of The Arrival" (The Arrival is S. Tan's excellent wordless graphic novel) is described in abstract as such:
...the authors share findings from a study in which immigrant students responded to the wordless text The Arrival in small-group, bilingual literature discussions. The interpretive processes of two of the children with different ethnic backgrounds, levels of English proficiency, and styles of response are highlighted as exemplary and contrastive case studies. Additionally, the social nature of the students’ interpretive work is illustrated by showing how the students drew upon their experiences of immigration, engaged in inquiry, and incorporated each others’ strategies as they co-constructed their responses and their own version of The Arrival. In a time when students’ language and reading abilities are defined by test scores, the authors propose that the use of wordless books provide an alternative perspective. Children’s ability to read between the pictures and make meaning of visual texts reflects a sophisticated interpretive activity that can offer teachers insight into what their immigrant students can do as readers. Access to high-quality wordless texts that address themes to which they can relate offers immigrant children, who are often also English language learners, the opportunity to enjoy the right to read and talk about books.
This is the second or third essay on GN's and immigrant experiences I've seen debut in the last few months, and I'm glad to see folks exploring these issues. I haven't read this particualr article yet (If anyone has a copy or PDF, please send it to me), but it looks great too!
Good for the progressive editors at Language Arts, and good on these authors for their excellent contributions to the contemporary conversation regarding sequential art narrative's use in schools!