Godfather & Young Master 1: The Orphan Springs
(c) MMXVI CAILL Transmedia PL
Shanghai | Jinan | Adelaide
In a modern world of collapsing cultural distinctions, a middle-aged Australian teacher living and working in China is suddenly entrusted to raise his China-born godson following the death of the boy’s American parents in a car accident. Having never had children of his own, he uses his memories of his relationship with his own father to guide him through the unexpected challenge. In the process he examines his own life from a new perspective, finding an inner peace which had previously eluded him. Resolving his own interior dilemmas, he dedicates himself to his newfound responsibility.
Created and designed by English as a Foreign Language [EFL] teacher Robert Cettl, Godfather and Young Master is a story about inter-cultural communication, from the perspective of a foreigner in China. The comic strip originated as a “filler” featured in a student digital magazine at the University of Jinan in October 2016. It was intended to personalize language learning. While the situation in, and plot of, Godfather and Young Master is fictional, the character of the Godfather is autobiographical, based on author Robert Cettl and created to inform the students about their teacher in a creative way.
At time of writing, China’s National Curricular Reforms stress two core concepts to inform and determine future EFL pedagogy: humanism (with Chinese characteristics) and critical thinking (CT). Godfather and Young Master is designed according to these core tenets, as a basis from which to facilitate English language learning for Chinese students. The language starts simple and progresses in complexity as the relationship between the two characters unfolds. The comic strip’s intention is to explore how foreigners in China, as teachers and experts, can assist China in implementing its educational reforms and begin the teaching of CT to Chinese EFL students of all ages.