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If Humour be the Food of Learning, Joke on: Perspectives of Several Italian and Swedish Upper-Secondary School Students on Humour and Dialogic Classroom Interaction
Halmstad University, School of Teacher Education (LUT).
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Social constructivism, known as Vygotskian theory, has been implicated in improving spoken language skills of upper-secondary school students. This qualitative study aims to investigate the perspectives of students regarding the teachers’ use of humour in ESL lessons both in Italy and Sweden. A secondary aspect of the study was to assess the use of humour in second language acquisition related to language learning and communicative competence based on dialogism and interaction. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 participants (5 males and 5 females from each of the respective countries). After analysis using phenomenography, results indicate that humorous dialogic instruction and interaction, as well as non-verbal forms of humour such as gesticulation and facial expression, have the possibility to dramatically increase the focus and interest in lesson content which facilitates better communicative understanding of English. Immediacy is perceived to improve feelings of well-being and harmony within the classroom. Humour and openness are considered important and necessary factors in improving motivation and self-belief during oral tasks as facilitated an effective, communicative learning climate. The study also proposes that there are four factors (teacher, student, subject and task) which affect learning processes, and moderation of humour, the fifth factor, acts as a scaffold to assist in stretching students’ knowledge within the ZPD.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 51 p.
Keyword [en]
dialogue, interaction, humour, upper-secondary school, Vygotsky
National Category
Languages and Literature Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-21765OAI: diva2:616529
Subject / course
Education Science
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2013-05-02 Created: 2013-04-17 Last updated: 2013-05-02Bibliographically approved

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