Technology and humor: sample lessons to keep English learning functional during pandemic times

Vanessa Cristiane Vanzan de Oliveira

Resumo


One of the possible problems in teaching English in Brazil may be linked to students’ lack of interest in online English classes. That demotivation may be linked to irrelevant content and an inadequate approach. When it comes to teenagers, it is known that technology plays a crucial role in their lives; however, some institutions and teachers have not mastered that tool yet. Nowadays, in pandemic times, technology has become essential. The outbreak of the virus has led to a tremendous growth of online teaching platforms. The pandemic of COVID-19 has transformed online teaching from a nice-to-have to a must-have. In light of Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory (1996) and recent multimodality studies and pragmatics (YUS, 2018, 2016; FORCEVILLE; CLARK, 2014; KONSTANTINEAS; VLACHOS, 2012, O’KEEFFE; CLANCY; ADOLPHS, 2011), this paper presents a didactic unit designed to provide teenage students (12 year-olds to 15 year-olds) with compelling topics in a relevant way in online classes. Being humor an inherently human trait which covers a whole range of communicative, social and psychological aspects of human behavior, it was used as a means to enhancing students’ interest. The central idea is to suggest tasks designed using humorous internet memes as well as technology; such as platforms and websites. Following the didactic unit, the author received positive feedback from the specific group of learners and noticed overall improvement of students’ communicative abilities in the target language.


Palavras-chave


Second Language Teaching. Technology-enhanced Language Learning. Humor. Relevance.

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Referências


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22168/2237-6321-32236

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