Humor, language, and pedagogy: An introduction to this special issue
Despite much research on the role of humor in the L2 classroom (see Bell, 2017; Bell & Pomerantz, 2016 for reviews), the conclusion of several major meta-analyses of the field of humor and teaching (Martin, Preiss, Gayle, & Allen, 2006; Banas, Dunbar, Rodriguez, & Liu, 2011; McMorris, Boothroyd, & Pietrangelo, 1997) is that, as Bell and Pomerantz (2016) plaintively put it, “it has been difficult to connect the use of humor to increased learning” (p. 101). The reason behind that difficulty is, as Martin et al. (2006,) state: “Although students report enjoying learning and they report that they believe they have learned course material, objective measurements of the recall associated with humorous lectures are rather minuscule” (p. 305). Banas et al. strike a marginally more optimistic note, concluding that "the empirical evidence for the effects of humor on learning is considerably more mixed, with some scholars finding that humor enhances learning (. . .) and others finding no relationship between learning from humor” (2011, p. 131).
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Copyright (c) 2016 Salvatore Attardo
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