Departmental Bulletin Paper Using Humor in the English Classroom: The Language Teacher's Perspective
Using Humor in the English Classroom: The Language Teacher's Perspective

Schnickel, Jacob  ,  Martchev, Milen

Description
This paper examines how several experienced English language teachers of various nationalities who work at Japanese universities use humor in their classes, according to their own subjective evaluations. We identify a set of characteristic attitudes that these instructors have in relation to classroom humor, as well as the range of humor types and techniques that they typically seem to employ. The discussion pays special attention to humor spontaneity, self-deprecating and personal humor, puns and language play, physical humor, as well as a special case involving use of teasing banter. We show that, while idiosyncratic in their attempts to bring laughter into the classroom, our survey participants have a good overall awareness of the major benefits and potential pitfalls of employing humor in language education; we also include plentiful quotes and examples from their reported in-class strategies involving humor.
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