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How can humor help you learn English?

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Laughter indeed is the best medicine to not just stay healthy but also to learn English! Yes, you heard it right. Humor can indeed help people learn English.

English language experts explored how humor could be employed in classroom teaching. The resource book by Kate Khoury, Sarah Raybould and Louise Salim” Sensing Humor in English”, which bagged Macmillan Education Award in its draft form for Innovative Writing, drives home the message that this is not something to be laughed off!

Here are some funny ways to learn English through humor.

Sitcoms

1. Sitcoms:

Situation comedy is a staple of every popular TV channel. The sound of laughter that accompanies the funny dialogues gives it an interactive character. Sitcoms typically deal with everyday situations at office or home, which the audience can readily connect to. Some of the ever popular sitcoms which everybody loves even today include “Friends” or “How I Met Your Mother” – to list just a few. Sitcoms feature different types of humor so that the viewers can easily choose a particular sitcom that is of their taste. Sitcoms make sure that you never miss the joke, thanks to the background laughter. For those who find it hard to follow the fast conversation of the characters, can watch them in streaming services like Netflix , where you can replay the portions that you failed to grasp or can even turn on the subtitles to make sure that you never miss the fun!

2. Puns:

Words or jokes that are used with different meanings can leave the learners in splits. If you need to make puns or understand the jokes that use puns, you should have a good English vocabulary to juggle with words that make a pun in specific situations. So, pun is a delightful way to have a belly laugh and to learn English at once. There are many pun videos on YouTube for those who wish to add up to their pun skills!

StandUpComedy

3. Stand-Up Comedy:

A comedy show is a show where the comedian stands up in front of an audience while telling jokes. Stand-up comedy involves jokes that you tell your friends on daily life situations like relationships, shopping or checking into the airport! Stand-up comedy and sitcoms are similar in that in both the cases, the comedian cracks jokes in front of the audience to make them laugh except that stand-up comedy is thoughtful and slower than sitcoms. Many stand-up comedians like Russel Brand of UK has created a cult status for this branch of humor with millions of diehard fans and followers to their credit. These comedians try to bring in a funny twist even for an ordinary context or try to see things in a different way.

Those who are learning English can even write their own comedy on things that they do every day, which they can share with other people and make them engaged. After a smart start these jokes often end with a hard hitting punch line which gets the people laugh their lungs out.

Anecdotes make an integral part in class room sessions. English teachers often use anecdotes to drive home a point in a humorous manner. Everyone loves to hear funny things and anecdotes that are told in first person and in present sense, manage  to get the audience fully involved. Light night shows often beam anecdotes of celebrity guests who are invited to share stories about themselves.

English learners can find a funny anecdote from their life and try to say it in English. This will help them to look up any word that they don’t know and make an interesting story for the audience.

Teachers can create an environment where the language learners are exposed to humorous situations and transactions. Humor is a powerful tool in any learner’s arsenal and an icebreaker that helps people to tackle awkward situations. While teaching English teachers often make use of various tones and shades of humor including sarcasm, parody, dry wit, sardonic jokes or even toilet humor, which in particular were found to be effective among the reserved learners. Students can be encouraged to replace conventional expressions with humor to find its effect on the individual learner. You can also take help of an online Spoken English course and learn English.

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- By Chander Madan

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