The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 11, No 1 (2023)

Humour in the classroom: forms and functions among Iranian EFL teachers

Hiwa Weisi,Vahid Mohammadi


The present study was conducted with the purpose of investigating the use of humour by EFL teachers in a private language institute in the context of Iran. In so doing, the study made an attempt to identify the forms of humour EFL teachers opt to use more frequently in relation to the students’ teaching in the classroom through observing their classroom teachings. Moreover, an interview was held with the EFL teachers to seek their perceptions with regard to the functions humorous language can serve in the process of language teaching and learning and their suggestions as to the implementation of humour in the classroom. The findings of the study demonstrate that Iranian EFL teachers show the inclination to use jokes, physical humour and riddles more frequently than other forms of humour. Moreover, the results of the interview reveal that EFL teachers assign some more commonly functions to the humorous language in the classroom such as creating a cheerful and friendly atmosphere, acting as a relaxing, comforting, and tension reducing device, increasing student interest and enjoyment, increasing learners’ concentration and motivation, and finally improving the quality of learning. Finally, the suggestions for appropriate use of humour and implications of the study are discussed in the result and conclusion sections, respectively.


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