The premise of my language comic books is that:
- Images improve retention
- Repetition improves retention
- There is a lot of common vocabulary that can be exploited between source and target language
- Achieve maximum bang per buck, by introducing words in approximate word frequency order, most frequent first
- Engaging stories keep people reading at a higher level of language difficulty
One thing that I don’t directly exploit is how children learn and how people learn by ear and during immersion. Research shows that children start by using a one-word sentence grammar, then move to 2-word sentences and then to more complex structures. My experience of learning languages by ear by watching television shows also reflects that. We pick up the common short phrases first, and it takes a while to understand the longer sentences. Similarly, the most important predictor of readability is sentence length. In my analysis of the text of French classics I found that the most common grammatical structure found was the single-word sentence consisting of an interjection, such as “Ah!”. This was followed by other one to two word sentence structures. Long sentences tend to have virtually unique structures.
I’m not sure yet how I will exploit this in my stories. In some ways I already do, since it is easy to write dialogue such as “Silence!”, “Ah!” and “Jacques!”. La saga continue…