Phylacterion, my Love!

Copyright SPA (Portugal)
A play to foster vocabulary learning through the use of onomatopoeic expressions 
and the visual structures of bande-dessinée.
This Worksop uses the language of bande-dessinée to promote writing and reading skills. When the participants enter the room, there are already three large blank paper sheets fixed on the wall. Depending of the amount of participants, the monitor divides them in a series of teams. The monitor, starts interacting with the group, by drawing essential visual symbols and schematics of bande-dessinée. Then, different simplified face expressions are drawn, and for every expression the monitor asks the participants for the corresponding adjective to describe it. Then the participants are introduced to the speech balloons (the “Phylacteria”), adapting each one to a specific situation. It is, also, at this moment, that the participants are asked to fill the empty speech balloons. Then, several onomatopoeia that usually accompany the characters, or are common in everyday slang, are presented. The challenge of this workshop is to find to the corresponding verb to each onomatopoetic expression. For example, “Wo of-Woof → to bark”, “Baa-Baa → to bleat, “Rawr! → to growl”. The participants should be asked whether they know what is the verb that refers to the activity of, for example, a clock. “Do you know that an elephant trumpets, and that a wolf howls?”The bande-dessinée provides a pretext to help improve the vocabulary skills during this activity. The monitor should encourage a debate on the meanings of adjectives, and the verbs that can “translate” the onomatopoeia. It is a cooperative based play, in which advanced vocabulary is learned through a non conventional platform.


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