n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - A functional fusion of literacies : the graphic adaptation of Bessie Head's short story, 'The collector of treasures'




In promoting literacy, English educators should be concerned with the whole range of cultural products, since simple texts can reveal as much about culture, power, society and identity as many other seemingly more "elevated" texts. It is clear that graphic texts, which include comics and other narratives, fall within this range. They have a widely accessible representational mode in which words and pictures are interdependent, conveying an idea that neither could convey alone. In the graphic adaptation of African short stories such as 'The Collector of Treasures', the oral mode of storytelling is reinvented and reinforced by visual and written modes of communication conveyed in the medium of a printed text. This type of graphic narrative promotes a functional fusion of visual, written, oral, cultural and critical literacies and advances a popular reading culture by facilitating a multiplicity of interactive responses. It may therefore serve as an authentic signpost for the feasibility of broadening the scope of literary studies in a wide variety of cultural and educational contexts.


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