Video 1 - Setting the scene / definitions of humour
Video 2 - Background to the research
Video 3 - The research and results
Video 4 - Could students benefit from humour awareness training?
Video 5 - Suggestions for humour awareness training in EAP / Conclusions
The nature of humour
The rise of English as a lingua franca in academia
Downloadable resources and further reading
- Download the print version of this training session.
- TeachingEnglish article: 'Sense of humour'', Nic Peachey, 2004.
- TeachingEnglish video tip: 'Humour in the classroom'.
- Article: 'Humor in spoken academic discourse', Lee David, 2006.
- Article: 'Laughter in university lectures', Hilary Nesi, 2012.
- Article: 'Humor as a pedagogical tool in foreign language and translation courses', John Robert Schmitz, 2002.
About this training session / session notes
Session summary and objectives
Who is this session for?
ELF and EAP teachers
ELT teachers interested in humour as part of English language teaching
English language teachers working in the tertiary sector or preparing students for international work or studies
Teachers or students interested in applied linguistics research.
About the speaker
Real life practice
Deadpan, dry humour
Text on British humour
- Humour is a crucial communication competency. It is an intrinsic component of language and culture. Thus, it needs to be brought into the ELT classroom, where, when used well, it will create a relaxing and fun environment for language learning to take place, as well as deepening students’ understanding of the English language.
- For academics involved in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes that recruit students from overseas, it is very important to be mindful of the use of humour in lectures and tutorials. It would be a good idea to address the subject of humour within orientation or induction modules for international students starting a new course.
- Although there are cultural roots to types of humour, it is also very personal; what makes one person laugh or feel comfortable is different from the next person. As a teacher, take the time to understand the humour that works best within your group of students. Be mindful of what might cause offense.
- Be yourself in class. Humour will evolve naturally amongst students and tutors/teachers as the group bonds and develops a trusting relationship with each other.
- If you are a native English teacher teaching overseas, be mindful about the use of humour in your English classes. What is typically funny in your home country may not be funny at all in the country you are working in.
- There is a wealth of comic material available these days. Use international English language comedy films to introduce humour in an engaging way.
Join the discussion
Join the discussion!
- Do you think there is such a thing as ‘universal humour’ i.e. humour that appeals across cultures? For example, do you think humour popular with 14 year olds in Britain will appeal to 14 year olds across the world? Give examples to support your opinions.
- Language and culture are interwoven. What advice can you share with other teachers about teaching humour in the English language classroom?
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