Teaching The English Language With Rage (Comics)

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Spawned from the depths of 4chan, perfected on the pages of reddit, and now coming to a classroom near you?

If you're unfamiliar with rage comics, think of them as cartoons using an ever-growing set of internet memes. Various faces and other crudely-drawn representations are used to express certain feelings - anger, shock, defeat, surprise, pleasure, success, horror. Initially, a rage comic was based around a certain rage character - the f7u12 guy (or fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu guy). Something would happen, and rage guy would be very upset by it. Nowadays, "rage comic" encompasses any comic made with a series of these drawings, no matter if it includes rage guy or not.

Want a look into the world of rage comics? Check out the subreddit /r/fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu, the biggest collection of rage comics on the internet. You might want to browse the face database, to figure out what they all mean.

The rage comic has a plethora of uses. Seriously. There is no emotion - no situation great or insignificant that cannot be expressed with a thoughtfully constructed rage comic.

And one teacher has decided to use them in his classroom.

Scott Stillar teaches English at the University of Tsukuba in Japan. He thinks that rage comics are a great way to teach the English language.

"Rage comics are special because at their core they consist of well known faces or expressions,” Stillar told the Daily Dot, “which are meant to show universal emotions of varying degrees under a wide variety of circumstances.”

He created his own subreddit for these educational rage comics, /r/EFLcomics, which has grown to over 6,600 subscribers.

The comics vary in their grasp of the English language, as well as their proper use of the specific rage faces.

The first is from reddit user 11ru109, a Japanese student:

And this from student 11rd113:

How about this meditation on failing to save your game/work:

“It allows the students to express themselves creatively in a meaningful and enjoyable way in their second language. The feedback in the form of ‘up votes’ or comments they receive from the online community where they are posted also adds an interactive element to the assignment,” Stillar told the Daily Dot.

What do you think? Can rage comics be a successful tool in teaching the English language? Let us know in the comments.

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf