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Humanising Language Teaching
Year 1; Issue 1; February 1999


This feature of the magazine aims to give women colleagues jokes ready to tell in class, since jokes are a powerful aid to language learning. People listen to jokes with special attention so they can provide the socially cohesive reaction of laughing when the punch line comes up.

Why are we targeting women teachers? Men remember jokes when they hear them since they are an element of discourse that men use in later conversations to do any and all of the following things:

  • grab people's attention by going behind the "narrative shield".

  • compete with other male joke-tellers.

  • pass time pleasurably (for them, but not always for female listeners).

  • Keep the conversation curiously impersonal.

Since most women in the cultures I know (a dozen ) use jokes less than men in conversation they tend to use them less in class. This feature aims to combat this tendency and to make if easy for anybody to use jokes in class.

This month:

Please send us jokes that belong to your culture, to your region, to regions that tell jokes about yours, to the culture of professions you know; there plenty of jokes the police and doctors and teachers tell about the rest of the world.

We will publish them. This part of the magazine could become the largest one.

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