"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
Humor in the Language Classroom
A discursive analysis of interactions in the language classroom
The production and understanding of humor are supposed to commonly occur in an
educational environment. Nevertheless, such a kind of spontaneous, unpredictable,
situational humor is quite elusive and hard to outline in scientifically spendible terms. In the
perspective of the present study, instances of humor are part of the interactional practices
between the teacher and learners in a language classroom. Observations and conclusions are
empirically grounded on the analysis of authentic samples collected in my four-year activity
with different groups of Hungarian foreign learners of Italian. Humor is viewed as a tool which
offers a privileged viewpoint on a multiplicity of aspects, namely discursive, psychological
and didactic. The goal is to instantiate and achieve an attemptive description of the
emergence of verbal humor in the routine teaching practice. My research aims to make a first
affirmative step - and to some extent pave the way - towards more thorough and systematic
interdisciplinary insights on humor in the language classroom, as an area of research
identifiable for its specific traits and the multi-oriented function and role of humor.