Graphic autobiographies and ESL


This example was submitted by Fernando Castellano-Banuls, from Aberystwyth University.

It is based on his unpublished Master’s dissertation and a small research project he conducted at a public school in Valencia (Spain). His hypothesis was that through the combination of creative writing and multimodal texts, students can improve their L2 skills as well as their attitude towards the language and the literature. Results and more information about this project can be accessed here.

The activity was planned in the following way:

  1. Reading a chapter of Marjane Satrapi’s graphic autobiography Persepolis (2007), plus in-class discussion
  2. Students created their own graphic autobiographies, with the prompt «why am I studying this degree?». They had time and support in class.
  3. Students presented their work in a 5 minute presentation.


This assessment was a formative one and it constituted 20% of students’ overall out mark, 10% were attributed to the graphic work and 10% to the presentation.

Students were assessed using the following rubric, taking into account criteria such as literary beauty, creativity, writing accuracy, and pronunciation.


By using creative assessment, students showed more engagement with the proposed text and helped them develop towards the foreign language.

Student’s examples

These can be observed in the pictures above.

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