ERIC Number: EJ845594
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
Learning about and through Humor in the Second Language Classroom
Bell, Nancy D.
Language Teaching Research, v13 n3 p241-258 2009
Humorous communication is extremely complex in both its forms and functions (e.g. Norrick, 1993; 2003). Much of the previous work that has put forth suggestions for incorporating humor into the language classroom (e.g. Trachtenberg, 1979; Deneire, 1995; Schmitz, 2002) has not examined these complexities in the detail necessary for the target audience (i.e. classroom language teachers) to be able to make informed judgments concerning its possible role in their classrooms. In addition, these researchers have not made use of naturally occurring interaction in making their recommendations. This article draws on data (interviews, participant observation and discourse analysis of audiotaped or videotaped interaction) collected from three research projects involving the use and understanding of humor by second language (L2) speakers in both classroom and non-classroom situations to illuminate what has so far been a largely theoretical discussion. I critique recommendations for pedagogical applications of humor in the L2 classroom, using examples to demonstrate how these are inadequate for determining what might be taught and learned and to whom. I then present arguments as to why it is appropriate to address L2 humor in the classroom and close with suggestions for incorporating humor into the language classroom.
Descriptors: Participant Observation, Interviews, Second Language Learning, Discourse Analysis, Humor, Second Language Instruction, Role, Teaching Methods, Criticism, Language Proficiency, Culture
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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