Humor in an International Classroom

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Teaching English in any environment can be challenging, but in a foreign country it is an adventure. What is considered funny in Korea is not seen a humorous in Egypt or even the Bahamas. As western teachers there is a strong need to use humor in our classes, but the use of humor in an international setting of non-native speakers requires some finesse. This paper will explore the effective use of humor in three countries and how western teachers can avoid potential cultural conflicts in an international school setting.


Keywords: Language, Teaching, ESL
Stream: Education and Social Welfare
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Humor in an International Classroom


Michel Demyen

Office Administrator, Pacific Institute in Mathematical Sciences, University of Victoria
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

I have a BA in Anthropology from the University of Victoria and am currently pursing a MSc in Forensic Science from the University of Florida. For five year I was an international teacher of English and Humanities in S. Korea, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Oman and the Bahamas. Research Assistant for Coast Under Stress, a five year project between the University of Victoria and Memorial University of New Foundland. TESL Global Manager for Vancouver Island, organized and conducted seminars on teaching overseas. For two years I was the owner of Gypsy Quill Publications, a small publishing company responsible for translating manuscripts.

Ref: I08P0120