Laugh, Joke, Learn: Teaching with and about Humor in the Second Language Classroom
About the Workshop
Language educators often see playful, humorous language as either too difficult to teach or ancillary to their "serious" curricular goals. Yet, second language learners consistently report a strong desire to initiate and/or participate more actively in humorous exchanges. In this workshop, language teachers will learn how to integrate playful language into L2 lessons in a pedagogically sound and theoretically informed manner. Participants will explore how traditional lessons might be altered to include a greater focus on non-serious language use and develop a repertoire of pedagogical strategies for helping learners to develop key micro-skills related to the identification, comprehension, production, and appreciation of conversational humor.
Nancy D. Bell is an Associate Professor and coordinator of the ESL Program in the English department at Washington State University. Her research interests center mainly on the discourse analytical investigation of conversational humor, language play, and linguistic creativity, especially with respect to second language users. She recently authored a text on failed humor (We are not Amused: Failed Humor in Interaction) and, with Anne Pomerantz, co-authored Humor In the Classroom: A Guide for Language Teachers and Educational Researchers.
Anne Pomerantz is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education, where she works closely with language educators and intercultural specialists. Her research focuses on the role of humor in classroom discourse and language pedagogy. Anne Pomerantz and Nancy D. Bell are the co-authors of Humor in the Classroom: A Guide for Language Teachers and Educational Researchers (Routledge).