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EFFECTS OF HUMOR IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM: HUMOR AS A PEDAGOGICAL TOOL IN THEORY AND PRACTICE

Abstract

Humor represents perhaps one of the most genuine and universal speech acts within human discourse.  As a natural consequence then, the employment of humor within the context of second language pedagogy offers significant advantage to both the language teacher and learner.  Indeed, humor serves as an effective means of reducing affective barriers to language acquisition.  This effectiveness is particularly relevant to the communicative classroom, as humor has been shown to lower the affective filter and stimulate the prosocial behaviors that are so necessary for success within a communicative context.  In addition to the employment of such general humor for the creation of a conducive learning environment, great value lies in the use of humor as a specific pedagogical tool to illustrate and teach both formal linguistic features as well as the cultural and pragmatic components of language so necessary for communicative competence.  In order to investigate these and other perceived benefits of humor within the language classroom, the researcher of the present study surveyed a diverse collection of language students and teachers and asked them to evaluate the use of humor in their classrooms.  Results from this pilot-study strongly confirm a perceived effectiveness for humor as an aid to learning and instruction.

How to Cite

Askildson L., (2005) “EFFECTS OF HUMOR IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM: HUMOR AS A PEDAGOGICAL TOOL IN THEORY AND PRACTICE”, Journal of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching 12(0). p.45-61.

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Lance Askildson (University of Arizona)

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