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Laughter in English as a Lingua Franca in university seminars

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'Why was that funny?'. Humour is inextricably part of language and culture, and therefore understanding humour in English is a vital communication competence for all language learners to develop.

Session summary and objectives

This talk focuses on the challenges that international students face when dealing with humour. Emma Greenhalgh outlines the research she conducted for her Masters degree into the challenges that international students face when dealing with humour in the foreign language classroom or in society. She calls for the design of training materials to help international students understand and cope with British humour more effectively. This seminar disseminates research the presenter conducted for her Applied Linguistics MA dissertation into the extent and function of laughter in university seminars and discusses possible implications for EAP teaching. 

Emma Greenhalgh works at Manchester Metropolitan University, and is a teacher, lecturer and specialist in EAP.

Watch the seminar 

This seminar is divided into five parts. 

Downloadable resources and further reading

  • Download the print version of this training session below.
  • TeachingEnglish article: 'Sense of humour'', Nic Peachey, 2004.
  • TeachingEnglish video tip: 'Humour in the classroom'.
  • Article: 'Humor in spoken academic discourse', Lee David, 2006.
  • Article: 'Laughter in university lectures', Hilary Nesi, 2012.
  • Article: 'Humor as a pedagogical tool in foreign language and translation courses', John Robert Schmitz, 2002.