Beko, L., & Mićović, D. (2022). Inter-faculty cooperation in English language teaching using educational comic strips on
geoforensics – A pilot study, International Journal of Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering and Education (IJCRSEE),
10(3), 89-97.
In order for teaching to be good, it is necessary to use good strategies and activities. However,
strategies and activities alone do not constitute good teaching per se. We know that the value of teaching
rests on routine, experience, personal development and constant re-examination. However, when it
comes to interdisciplinary areas, in order for successful teaching to take place, it is our rm belief that it
is necessary that the teacher or teachers combine their own classroom experience with the experience
of teachers with the same practice and develop a new combination of experience, informed thinking
and openness to change. It is then a path towards a higher order of routine, growth, monitoring and
professional judgment.
Higher education has induced new elds of cooperation and new ways of teaching that enable
students to cross the boundaries of their academy in an easy and meaningful way. The growing literature
has offered concepts of collaborative and intercultural learning, along with interdisciplinary concepts,
using theorists with a wide range of expertise all of whom have commented and written extensively on
utilization of educational comic strips as a form of innovative and yet-to-be fully incorporated in an ELT
classroom (Britton, 1970; Apostel et al., 1972; Klein, 1990, 1996; Kline, 1995; Aram, 2004; Schmidt, 2008,
2011; Krohn, 2010; Frodeman, 2010; Killick, 2012; Parr, 2012; Parr, 2012; Maki, 2016; Seddon, 2016;
Townsin and Walsh, 2016).
It is notable from our experience that higher education institutions rarely promote inter-faculty
cooperation within the same country in the eld of foreign language as an educational challenge. The
common practice of teaching the same foreign language activity at two completely different faculties – in
our case two universities (the University of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies and the University of
Belgrade, Faculty of Mining and Geology) – is a situation where the heterogeneity of lecturers, students
and teaching materials may potentially lead to tension and uncertainty (Bammer 2013: 100). Our initial
Inter-Faculty Cooperation in English Language Teaching Using
Educational Comic Strips on Geoforensics – A Pilot Study
Lidija Beko
, Dragoslava Mićović
Faculty of Geology and Mining, University of Belgrade, Serbia, e-mail: lidija.beko@rgf.bg.ac.rs
University of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies, Belgrade, Serbia, e-mail: dragoslava.micovic@kpu.edu.rs
Abstract: The paper deals with the research and promotion of inter-faculty cooperation in the eld of foreign language
teaching. By focusing on educational comic strips as an underutilised language strategy at university level, we have tried to
reduce or completely eliminate the tensions and uncertainties that accompany the learning or teaching of a new academic eld.
The study explores how a particular narrative from geoforensic practice is transformed into adapted educational comic strips.
The focus then turns to the application of educational comic strips in language classes, and how six lecturers at two different
faculties and their students in the rst year of study perceive that application and respond to the challenges of teaching/learning
in this way. Two surveys were conducted in order to obtain more precise data on the quality of the comic strips as a teaching/
learning activity: the former, a qualitative survey of lecturers, and the latter, a quantitative survey of students. The results of
the research indicate that even when the area of exploration such as geoforensics and comic strips is somewhat unknown for
both teachers and students, the authenticity of material, the quality of preparation, the conscious and explicit participation of all
sides, all potentially lead to new forms of good practice and positive linguistic outcomes.
Keywords: inter-faculty cooperation, educational comic strips, English language, geoforensics.
Original scientic paper
Received: October, 17.2022.
Revised: November, 16.2022.
Accepted: December, 01.2022.
© 2022 by the authors. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the
Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Corresponding author: lidija.beko@rgf.bg.ac.rs
Beko, L., & Mićović, D. (2022). Inter-faculty cooperation in English language teaching using educational comic strips on
geoforensics – A pilot study, International Journal of Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering and Education (IJCRSEE),
10(3), 89-97.
attempt is to design such teaching materials that will enable our language teachers and students to
communicate across academic disciplines in an inexhaustible and generative way. Our goal is to test the
range of innovative activities focusing on the application of the comic strip in a language learning classroom
in order to develop the best possible teaching quality, exchange our knowledge and experience, develop
an even distribution of knowledge and practice in this eld and to rely on programs which do not involve
movement across national borders but the movement of institutions into an afliated educational system
‘at home’.
Inter-faculty cooperation: geoforensics and criminal studies
The progress of forensic science began dramatically with the popularity of television series in the
1990s (CSI, Silent Witness, etc.). Their popularity has also inuenced the growing interest in educational
programs in which young people could potentially pursue their careers in academic programs related to
the study of forensics or geoforensics mimicking their favourite actors on television. Since forensics has
become a part of everyday speech today, it can be said that forensic scientists are crucial in providing
scientic evidence in criminal and civil investigations. Although forensic scientists use a number of
scientic techniques to investigate and determine even the smallest details, geoforensic scientists are
the only experts who can properly detect materials of geological origin. Thus, geologists are often asked
to transfer or communicate results, advice and recommendations from their geological exploration to
different recipients, such as the police, politicians, policy makers, the public, the media, and the judiciary.
For this reason, it is of central importance for them to avoid the failure to communicate their message
precisely, accurately and clearly. According to Donnelly “if the correct message is not conveyed properly,
or is misunderstood, or misinterpreted, the consequences can be catastrophic” (Donnelly, 2008: 1). It is
noted that for geologists the communication of information can be more difcult than the investigation
itself. This is because many of these investigations apply highly sophisticated scientic techniques,
geological terminology and specic technical jargon that – when combined with the cultural and language
barriers, social, political, religious and economic constraints that often exist – put a geologist in a very
difcult position. In other words, conveying the geological data for the recipient to understand means
translating it into many ‘Englishes’ or sublanguages that exist within the multi-layered social strata.Thus,
bearing this in mind, the comic strip may be used as an activity created to mimic the real-life situations
in which a geologist may nd himself and mitigate the initial encounter with something perceived as
unknown language-wise.
Materials and Methods
This research study focuses on the assumption of applicability of educational comic strips at two
faculties, as well as on summarizing the rst results of this collaborative approach from two perspectives
– the teachers’ perspective and the students’ perspective. From the point of view of language, work on
comic strips should shed light on possible forms of vocabulary work as well as communicative skills
exercises. It is assumed that the respondents, both the teachers and the students, will show openness
and understanding for the new form of work in order to be able to adequately adapt to the newly set goals
of innovation. When it comes to inter-faculty cooperation, we assume that the respondents will show
readiness to cooperate, openness to improving the work on comic strips through suggestions, personal
experiences and understanding of all the novelties that learning situations bring about.
Although it is not common to use different instruments in a single study, we have decided in favour
of two different kinds of research – a qualitative for teachers and a quantitative for students – since the
latter is considered more appropriate for the rst-year students. With this in mind, the following hypotheses
were set:
Hypothesis 1 postulates that, as educational comic strips contain two forms of expression, artistic
and verbal, they can effectively engage students in active reading and thinking.
Hypothesis 2 postulates that learning vocabulary and communication is more entertaining and
benecial for adult students when it is based on educational comic strip material.
Hypothesis 3 postulates that comic strips can refresh communication skills and improve science
literacy when operated via inter-faculty cooperation.
In order to be able to participate in this study, both the teachers and students had to be familiar with
educational comic strip as one type of teaching material. The particular comic strip which was used in
class before giving the questionnaires to teachers and students is given hereinbelow. This comic strip was