Lessons with Laughter George Woolard

(Language Teaching Publications)

Lessons with Laughter will have them splitting their sides, rolling in the aisles, falling out of their trees and even wetting themselves and that's just the teachers.

This is a collection of 92 photocopiable lessons at three levels which will be ideal for introducing a lighthearted note into your classroom. The author stresses that it is not the teacher's job to be the class comedian or to explain the British sense of humour.

These lessons allow students to discover it for themselves. The first three sections cover two-line jokes with double meanings, cartoons with the caption or a final frame missing and misprints, mainly from newspapers. These are designed as 'fillers' but many of them reinforce more serious learning points.

Section one includes the present perfect, conditionals and question forms, section two encourages prediction skills and section three makes editing a motivating activity.

The final section consists of longer reading passages with the last line missing. The  joy of these is that they can be exploited for reading skills and lexis without spoiling the joke. When the students have understood the passage and are clamouring for the punchline it will still be fresh and funny.

Jokes often contain repetitions or common idioms and collocations while laughter encourages learning by making this language more memorable. Buy this book and cheer your students up as much as yourself.

Olwyn Alexander Freelance, Edinburgh

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George Woolard (LTP 1996) ISBN: 1899396357

IT'S NICE to see a book that breaks new ground - and this one certainly does.

The laughter in these 92 lessons comes not from situation or slapstick - and the teacher is advised to resist the temptation to become the class comedian - but from the material itself.

Each of the four sections concentrates on a different basic format and presents a different sort of humour.

Section one consists of mainly two-line jokes and involves matching punchlines; completing punchlines with phrasal verbs; puns; distinguishing homophones and so onThe range is truly impressive and includes work on grammatical features such as tenses (Present Perfect jokes) questions with "how" ('How long will the next bus be?- 'About six metres'), alphabet jokes. classic 'waiter, waiter' jokes and many more.

Section two focuses on cartoons in a problem solving manner, with either words, captions or the final frame missing from a sequence of cartoons.

Section three concentrates on error-awareness, with students correcting misprints in short articles Longer texts are introduced in the final section, where the worksheets are divided into elementary, intermediate and advanced, and invite students to work together to think up the final line of a humorous story.

What teachers will appreciate here is that the humour becomes the driving force of the activity. Students will naturally want to Repeat, discuss, understand and in some cases, certainly. complain about the awfulness of the jokes. All th

ese elements make lessons, and hence learning. more memorable. Teachers have little to prepare, and the worksheets are all photocopiable. Lessons with laughter was an instant hit in our class!


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