What are Soft Skills and how can Comics help develop them?
In today's world, soft skills like communication skills and emotional intelligence may be one of the most needed things in determining employment capability. 85% of one's job success comes from having well developed soft and technical skills, whereas knowledge takes up the remaining 15%. It is no surprise then that a lot of schools are now putting in more effort in developing these soft skills in young children to prepare them for their future.
What are Soft Skills?Soft skills are simply personality traits that an individual possesses that helps them interact better with other people. So unlike hard skills that are technical and can be learned, soft skills have to be formed. They are not about knowledge but rather behavioral traits. Think of how one would measure IQ for technical expertise, for soft skills; it has to do with the emotional intelligence of the person more than their intelligence quotient.
How Can Comics Help Develop Soft Skills in Children?While some teachers may still be hesitant to use comic strips in their education process, there is no denying that comics are a fun and engaging way to form a lot of behaviors in kids that they need to build a strong EQ (Emotional quotient). Here are a few ways comics help develop soft skills in kids.
- Using Comic strips In Storytelling -
There are various ways to use comics to teach kids how to develop soft skills, and one of them is through storytelling. Here are a few tips for using comic strips in storytelling;
Introduce a topic to the kids; it could be anything from politics, equal rights, or even 'a day at work' topic. There are a lot of websites out there where you can get comic strip topic inspirations.
Ask the kids to draw comic strips around the introduced topic. By simply introducing the topic to the kids, and asking them to create a comic strip of about five panels that presents it, you hone proper interaction behavior in them.
Encourage them to infuse dialogue into the comic strip, thus developing their speech patterns.
- Raise Awareness Through Comic Strips -
Almost every individual as they grow older will be faced with some form of a sensitive topic they may need to handle. With comic strips, you can both raise Awareness of these sensitive issues in the kids, and teach them the correct response when they encounter them. Topics like bullying, sexual misconduct, racism, and even politics can be brought up in your class, and the right answers to these topics can be honed in the kids.
A good lesson will be to present a sensitive topic to the kids in a neutral tone and then ask them to create comic panels that form conversations around these topics. This lesson will help them understand the motivation behind specific actions people do and the moral implication of these actions.
- Using Comic Strips to Develop Empathy -
Empathy is one of the most important soft skills a person can possess, especially in the workforce. With the ability to understand people's emotions and what they might be thinking, it will help in relating to people around you.
However, not many people understand or possess this soft skill, but, with the help of comic strips, you can build the kids' soft skills in this area.
Distribute comic strips to the kids, ensuring that the characters in the comic strips are people they can relate to. This will help them learn to be well-rounded individuals in the future. The trick is to pick a comic strip that passes across the particular message you are trying to teach.
- Get Kids Thinking with Editorial Comics -
A mind of your own is critical in every individual's journey towards self-discovery. This can help you grow as a person which can invariably increase your emotional intelligence.
And no better way to teach kids, individuals, thinking that through editorial comics. Distribute these comics to your kids and encourage them to think about the issues that are being presented. Ask them about their opinions on it, and start a dialogue in the class where the kids create logical arguments to express a sense of what they are thinking.
Being an individual thinker is only overstepped by becoming an analytical and critical thinker. With comic strips that span topics like history, literature, maths, and science, you can help develop critical thinking skills in the kids.
- Teaches Them Speaking Skills -
This is another very important reason why comics should be used in honing soft skills in kids. By asking kids to read aloud a comic strip, you help them improve their speaking skills.
These comics could either be supplied by you or created by them. The key is to ensure they are aware of the character's speech patterns and motivation. Make sure you are encouraging them to talk like they are having a regular conversation, so as to give their characters life.
Another thing you can try is to give them half-finished comics online and ask them to complete it. This will help build creativity and develop communication skills.
- Create Awareness in Kids -
Comic strips are like multimodal text, which in our fast-growing digital world helps people gather an immense amount of information from a variety of sources. This then helps them filter through all the noise that comes with internet accessibility, and land on the data they really and truly want.
This is an invaluable tool in the workforce and can be groomed in these kids by teaching them to read comic strips inventively. The kids will learn to delve deeper into problems or situations, and not accept anything at face value. It will also grow their Awareness into the variety of ways the idea behind things can be built and communicated.
ConclusionEducating with comics is a fun and engaging way to introduce your kids to work-related topics and build their emotional intelligence. This soft skill training tool can teach them customer service, work ethics, communication skills, and even attitude to employees at work. We seriously recommend you add a bit of fun to your soft skill training, so you can get better-engaged kids who remember the essential points.
Based in Chicago, Ava T. Jones is best known for her contributions to translation and writing. She is currently working as a contributor at writing services review sites such as PickTheWriter and WritingJudge. She entered the writing world to explore her passion for contrastive linguistics, adaptation, and lexicography. Ava also enjoys skiing, social media management, and vegan parties.