Nagasaki JALT:

Jokes and Cartoons in the EFL Classroom.

Date: Saturday, April 17th, 2010 Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Speaker: Richard Hodson, University of Nagasaki, Siebold

Can you tell a joke in English? How can learners be encouraged to experiment with humour, and what materials can teachers provide to help them do so? Telling (or even understanding) a joke in a foreign language is a challenging activity that demands considerable linguistic skill, yet it's an activity that provides learners with valuable opportunities for practice, access to cultural knowledge, and also to the cognitive and affective benefits of creative language play. Recent research into the role of humour in the EFL classroom has begun to suggest guidelines for the selection and use of humorous input materials. This presentation will report on two investigations into the classroom application of these guidelines. In the first study, a series of jokes linked to everyday forms and functions found in typical communication classes and texts was introduced in a university oral communication class, encouraging learners not only to explore the principles and processes behind English jokes, but also to start experimenting with humour by rating, adapting and recreating them. In the second investigation, students rated and wrote captions for a series of newspaper cartoons. Peer-rating of student output was compared with ratings given by native speakers of English. As well as reporting on the detailed findings of these two studies, the presentation will discuss both the broader linguistic, and specifically humour-related factors that they suggest may be significant in the selection of humorous input material for EFL classes.

Organization: Nagasaki Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (Nagasaki JALT)

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 1000 yen (2-for-1 offer: bring a first-timer to a meeting, each of you pays just 500)

Venue: Dejima Koryu Kaikan, 4F (large white building next to the Prefectural Art Museum, near Dejima Wharf)

Location: Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan


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