Many English native speaker teachers will have heard of Osamu Tezuka’s manga and be familiar with the warm humanity of his creations. This textbook is based on the iconic works “Astro Boy” and “Black Jack” and aims to develop students’ productive communicative skills. Students are certain to be motivated by the moving stories featured! On top of that, mastery of the grammatical items and vocabulary is bound to lead to an improvement in communicative ability. We are sure that the content of this text will make both students and teachers feel happy and fulfilled.
Special features of this text:
1. Emphasis on productive skills
2. Each unit is built around communicative goals such as “Describing Events,” “Proposing Ideas,” or “Exchanging Opinions” so students can learn with concrete aims in mind.
3. The first unit starts with relatively simple grammatical constructions and each successive unit builds on vocabulary and grammar to be reviewed in a logical and fully integrated way.
The structure of this text:
1. The “Warm-up” foregrounds a particular manga scene and wider narrative with dictation and gap-filling comprehension questions.
2. “Today’s Speaking Target” provides exercises to focus on the grammatical forms used in the featured Astro Boy and Black Jack stories.
THE FOCUSED MANGA SCENE! “Vocabulary for Manga” offers the actual manga scene central to the narrative employed in each unit, and gets students to work on the featured vocabulary items while making sense of the story.
3. “Comprehension Questions for Manga” offers comprehension questions on the focused manga scene for students to answer in gap-filling form.
4. “Let’s Challenge” again focuses students on the featured manga scene. This time a TOEIC-style listening format is employed.
5. “Matching Responses” gets students to practice conversational forms as if they are characters in the manga.
6. “Composition” offers an opportunity to use expressions and grammatical constructions from the manga in a broader real-life context via reordering exercises.
7. “Speaking Dialog” gives students some easy pair-work practice playing the parts of characters from the manga. An easy substitution-drill format is employed, but teachers may want to get the students to be more creative here.
8. “Writing” gets students to write letters and offer their own ideas in writing. A downloadable worksheet is available for teachers who think this section might be rather challenging for their students. A gap-filling format is therefore available to give students practice expressing themselves as if they are involved in the manga stories. However, teachers are of course encouraged to use the free-writing section to get the students to have fun and be creative.
In this way, students can have fun learning, whatever their level. However, it’s not just fun. There is a serious focus on a logical review of important grammar in the conversation and writing tasks. Students will be learning the grammar in no time.
Written by co-author, Magumi Okugiri