A Micro-Analytic Investigation into Teacher-Initiated Humour as a Repair Initiator in L2 Classroom Contexts

Çopur N., Atar C.

An International Conferance on Teaching and Learning English as an Additional Language (GlobELT 2018), Belgrade, Serbia, 10 - 13 May 2018, pp.84

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Belgrade
  • Country: Serbia
  • Page Numbers: pp.84
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


Classroom talk is full of humour, language play, and other acts of creative language use (Pomerantz and Bell, 2016, pp. 73-74). Much work on humour in L2 classrooms has widely focused on the roles, social functions, and the markers of humour in interaction whereas little attention is paid to the sequential mechanisms of humour (Lehtimaja, 2011, Reddington and Waring, 2015) and even less to the relationship between the repair mechanism and humour. This study investigates teacher- initiated humour as a repair initiator in naturally occurring interaction in L2 classrooms. 30 hours of video and/or audio recordings selected from Newcastle University Corpus of Academic Spoken English have been analysed under Conversation Analysis (CA) framework. The repair mechanism of CA is a significant tool in understanding how interlocutors deal with troubles in interaction and achieve intersubjectivity, a crucial aspect in understanding L2 classroom interaction (Markee, 2000). CA provides valuable opportunities for humour studies with its micro-analytical nature, which enables us to gain analytical grounding of what is oriented to by the participants as humorous (Reddington and Waring, 2015). In this ongoing study, initial findings illuminate how teachers integrate humour in repair sequences, which might be face threatening and demotivating for learners, and what actions are projected in subsequent turns. Thus, understanding humour in teachers' repair practices may yield in valuable implications for creating learning space (Walsh, 2011) as well as adding to the understanding of L2 classroom interaction.