AbstractThe integration of humorous texts in language education to develop students’ emotional literacy: a case study
The integration of humorous material in language teaching can be instrumental in the development of emotional literacy, thereby fostering an aesthetic sensitivity in student teachers (as learners) in different social contexts. Texts containing humour can play a significant role in the development of learners’ understanding and appreciation of a language, as well as the cultural heritage it embodies. Furthermore, it offers learners the opportunity to become creatively and imaginatively involved with oral, visual and written texts. The article illustrates how the application of humorous material in the teaching of Afrikaans is not only rooted in responsive education, but complies with the objectives of the South African teaching policy documents.
By concentrating on a literature review of research studies, the authors point out the correlation between humour and various factors that influence learners’ and students’ affective behaviour in the context of the language classroom. Particular reference is made to research results indicating that the use of humour induces a more positive attitude, while also motivating students (as learners) to participate constructively in language activities. Attention is also paid to the relationship between different personality types (based on cognitive style) and anxiety. Moreover, the established link between humour and anxiety justifies the inclusion of humorous texts to reduce language-related anxiety. Ultimately the research serves to support the authors’ argument in favour of incorporating humorous material in the teaching of Afrikaans, while several (practical) teaching strategies are suggested. The authors hope to enhance the educational value by pursuing a holistic approach to language teaching.