Investigating the potential of humour in EFL classrooms: An attitudinal study

Talip Gonulal

Abstract


Studies on humour have indicated that humour has a lot to offer to both language teachers and learners. Creating a positive classroom environment and lowering affective barriers to language learning are among the several effects of humour. However, the appreciation of humour can be culture-specific and context-dependent. For example, greater values may lie in the employment of humour in English as a foreign language (EFL) settings such as Turkey where the communicative-oriented teaching methods are still in their infancy stage. The current study, therefore, examined the potentials of humour from Turkish EFL learners’ perspective to elicit their opinions regarding the importance and potent roles of humour in EFL classrooms. In this attitudinal study, a mixed-methods design was used. A comprehensive humour perception questionnaire and semi-structured interviews were employed. Two hundred and fifty college EFL students completed the humour survey and eight of them participated in the follow-up interviews. The results indicated that Turkish college-level EFL students have largely positive attitudes towards using humour in English classrooms. Additionally, students considered humour as an effective pedagogical tool that can increase their attentiveness, attention span, confidence in English classrooms, and teacher-student solidarity, as well.


Keywords


humour as a pedagogical tool; language learning; EFL learners; students' beliefs

Full Text:

VIEW FULL TEXT HERE

References


Alptekin, C. & Tatar, S. (2011). ‘Research on foreign language teaching and learning in Turkey (2005–2009)’. Language Teaching 44 (3), pp. 328¬–353.

Askildson, L. (2005). ‘Effects of humour in the language classroom: Humour as a pedagogical tool in theory and practice’. Arizona Working Papers in SLAT 12, pp. 45–61.

Banas, J., A., Dunbar, N., Rodriguez, D. & Liu, S. J. (2011). ‘A review of humour in educational settings: Four decades of research’. Communication Education 60 (1), pp. 115–144.

Belhiah, H. (2012). ‘You know Arnold Schwarzenegger? On doing questioning in second language dyadic tutorials’. Applied Linguistics 33 (1), pp. 21–41.

Bell, N. (2005). ‘Exploring L2 language play as an aid to SLL: A case study of humour in NS-NNS interaction’. Applied Linguistics 26 (2), pp. 192–218.

Bell, N. (2009). ‘Learning about and through humour in the second language classroom’. Language Teaching Research 13 (3), pp. 241–258.

Bell, N. (2012). ‘Comparing playful and nonplayful incidental attention to form’. Language Learning 62 (1), pp. 236–265.

Bell, N. & Pomerantz, A. (2014). ‘Reconsidering language teaching through a focus on humour’. EuroAmerican Journal of Applied Linguistics and Languages 1 (1), pp. 31–47.

Berk, R. (2000). ‘Does humour in course tests reduce anxiety and improve performance?’ College Teaching 48 (4), pp. 151–159.

Craik, F. I. M. & Lockhart, R. (1972). ‘Levels of processing: A framework for memory research’. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior 11, pp. 671–684.

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing among Five Approaches. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.

Creswell, J. W. and Plano-Clark, V. L. (2011). Desigining and Conducting Mixed Methods Research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publishing.

Dörnyei, Z. & Taguchi, T. (2009). Questionnaires in Second Language Research: Construction, Administration, and Processing (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.

Field, A. (2013). Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics. London: Sage.

Forman, R. (2011). ‘Humorous language play in a Thai EFL classroom’. Applied Linguistics 32 (5), pp. 541–565.

Garner, R. L. (2006). ‘Humour in pedagogy: How ha-ha can lead aha!’ College Teaching 54 (1), pp. 177–180.

Jonas, P. M. (2004). Secrets of Connecting Leadership and Learning with Humour. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc.

Kirkgoz, Y. (2007). ‘English language teaching in Turkey: Policy changes and their implementations’. RELC Journal 38 (2), pp. 216–228.

Kirkgoz, Y. (2009). ‘Globalization and English language policy in Turkey’. Educational Policy 23 (5), pp. 663–684.

Littlewood, W. (1981). Communicative Language Teaching: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Loewen, S. & Gonulal, T. (2015). ‘Exploratory factor analysis and principal components analysis’, in Plonsky, L. (Ed), Advancing Quantitative Methods in Second Language Research. New York: Routledge, pp. 182-212.

Lovorn, M. & Holaway, C. (2015). ‘Teachers’ perceptions of humour as a classroom teaching, interaction, and management tool’. European Journal of Humour Research 3 (4), 24–35.

Lucas, T. (2005). ‘Language awareness and comprehension through puns among ESL learners’. Language Awareness 14 (4), pp. 221–238.

Mantooth, J. D. (2010). ‘The effects of professor humour on college students’ attention and retention’. Doctoral dissertation, Auburn University.

Markee, N. (2005). ‘Conversation analysis forsecond language acquisition’, in Hinkel, E. (Ed), Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning, Vol. 1. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Mahwah, pp. 355-374.

Martin, R. A. (2007). The Psychology of Humour: An Integrative Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

McDaniel, M., Dornburg, C. & Guynn, M. (2005). ‘Disentangling encoding versus retrieval explanations of the bizarreness effect: Implications for distinctiveness’. Memory and Cognition 33, pp. 270–279.

Ozsevik, Z. (2010). ‘The use of communicative language teaching (CLT): Turkish EFL teachers’ perceived difficulties in implementing CLT in Turkey’. Master’s thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Pett, M. A., Lackey, N. R. & Sullivan, J. J. (2003). Making Sense of Factor Analysis: The Use of Factor Analysis for Instrument Development in Health Care Research. Sage.

Petraki, E. & Nguyen, H. H. P. (2016). ‘Do Asian EFL teachers use humour in the classroom? A case study of Vietnamese EFL university teachers’. System 61, pp. 98–109.

Plonsky, L. & Gonulal, T. (2015). ‘Methodological synthesis in quantitative L2 research: A review of reviews and a case study of exploratory factor analysis’. Language Learning, 65 (S1), pp. 9–36.

Pomerantz, A. & Bell, N. D. (2011). ‘Humour as safe house in the foreign language classroom’. The Modern Language Journal 95 (1), pp. 148–161.

Reddington, E. (2015). ‘Humour and play in language classroom interaction: A review of the literature’. Teachers College, Columbia University Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics 15 (2), pp. 22–38.

Schmidt, S. & Williams, A. (2001). ‘Memory for humorous cartoons’. Memory and Cognition 29, pp. 305–311.

Schmitz, J. R. (2002). ‘Humour as a pedagogical tool in foreign language and translation courses’. International Journal of Humour Research 15 (1), pp. 89–113.

Spada, N. (2007). ‘Communicative language teaching: Current status and future prospects’, in Jessner, U. & Cenos, J. (Eds.), International Handbook of English language teaching. New York: Springer, pp. 271-288.

Spada, N., Barkaoui, K., Peters, C., So, M. & Valeo, A. (2009). ‘Developing a questionnaire to investigate second language learners’ preferences for two types of form-focused instruction’. System 37 (1), pp. 70–81.

Sterling, S. & Loewen, S. (2015). ‘The occurrence of teacher-initiated playful LREs in a Spanish L2 classroom’. System 53, pp. 73–83.

Torok, E. S., McMorris, F. R. & Lin, W. (2004). ‘Is humour an appreciated teaching tool? Perceptions of professors' teaching styles and use of humour’. College Teaching 52 (1), pp. 14–20.

Wagner, M. & Urios-Aparisi, E. (2011). ‘The use of humour in the foreign language classroom: Funny and effective?’ Humour: International Journal of Humour Research 24 (4), pp. 399–434.

Wandersee, J. H. (1982). ‘Humour as a teaching strategy’. American Biology Teacher 44 (4), pp. 212–18.

Wanzer, B. M. (2002). ‘Use of humour in the classroom: The good, the bad and the not-so funny things that teachers say and do’. Communication for Teachers. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Wanzer, B. M. & Frymier, A. B. (1999). ‘The relationship between student perceptions of instructor humour and students' reports of learning’. Communication Education 48, pp. 48–62.

Wanzer, B. M., Frymier, A. B. & Irwin, J. (2010). ‘An explanation of the relationship between instructor humour and student learning: Instructional humour processing theory’. Communication Education 59 (1), pp. 1–18.

Wulf, D. (2010). ‘A humour competence curriculum’. TESOL Quarterly 44 (1), pp. 155–169.

Zhang, Q. (2005). ‘Immediacy, humour, power distance, and classroom communication apprehension in Chinese college classrooms’. Communication Quarterly 53, pp. 109–124.

Yu, D. S., Lee, D. T., & Woo, J. (2004). ‘Issues and challenges of instrument translation’. Western Journal of Nursing Research 26 (3), pp. 307–320




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7592/EJHR2018.6.1.gonulal

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Publication ethics and malpractice statement