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Title: Inter-student humour in the international postgraduate classroom
Author: Germanier-Manvell, Rachel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2746 4403
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2012
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Despite humour being encouraged as a resource for teachers, particularly language teachers, in the classroom, there has been scant investigation into students' humour in spoken interaction in the same context (though see Bell, 2002, 2005, 2009b). Addressing this gap using Linguistic Ethnography and a Conversation-Analysis- informed approach, this study investigates the interpersonal functions of inter-student humour (ISH) among international postgraduates at a transition point between the language classroom and the vocational environment. ISH's role in shaping identities as professionals, as well as in co-constructing transportable identities (Richards, 2006), is investigated, as are humour distribution in the class and the resources international postgraduates use when 'doing' humour. The extent to which ISH creates a conducive learning environment forthese students (Ryan and Viete, 2009) is also investigated. Data were principally video recordings alongside non-participant observation of classroom interaction supported by interviews. Students are demonstrated to use humour to heighten affiliative work. They use ISH to do normative (Long and Graesser, 1988), as well as positive and negative, face work (Brown and Levinson, 1987; Goffman, 1967). This study suggests that the students' professional orientation influences their humour, supporting Richards (2010). I highlight a notable difference in the sort of humour taught to learners of English, which tends to be in the form of context-independent jokes, or puns, and the sort of ii Rachel Gerrnanier-Manvell X2S62718 spontaneous context-bound humour observed as being used by non-native speakers of English in spoken interaction in the international postgraduate classroom. Consequently, I suggest that a practical implication of this study is that attention be paid in English preparatory classrooms to the sorts of spontaneous humour they use in spoken interaction. As using humour as a relation builder enhances international postgraduates' feeling of belonging (Ryan and Viete, 2009) their teachers should, this study suggests, privilege opportunities for ISH in their classrooms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available