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Humour and classroom dynamics

(From TeachEnglish, British Council, BBC)


Many researchers, and particularly Stephen Krashen, have written about the negative effects of anxiety on students' ability to learn. Using humour can play an important part in helping to relax students and help them
overcome stress and nerves and so make them more receptive to learning. Humour can also help to improve the classroom atmosphere particularly for students who are worried about making mistakes or nervous about their speaking abilities. It is, however, very important that we learn with our students to laugh 'about' mistakes rather than at the people who make them.

A few ideas
Here are a few ways in which I've tried to integrate humour into my classes.

  • Telling a joke
    Just telling a joke can be a great listening activity for your students and really there's no need to prepare anything. Every joke comes with its own comprehension task. If the listener laughs at the end of the joke then they have understood it.
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