How Does Humor Use Humor?

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For as long as I have been in school, there has been a negative stigma around laughing and making jokes in the classroom. As a potential psychology major, I am quite fascinated with why our brains work the way they do, and how they grow, develop, and learn. That is why I was so intrigued when research came out claiming that appropriate humor can be used as a tool in the classroom by alleviating anxiety, stress, and helping relate the content by using funny, real world examples. When an instructor successfully uses humor, the learning environment that is created can be a catalyst for success.
Humor can alleviate anxiety, especially in second language classrooms. “First, Young (1991) argues that when students are asked to deliver their thoughts or idea in a foreign language in which they have limited competence, their performance can be very threatening to their self-image” (Deb 2). If you have taken a foreign language class, in which speaking in front of the class is required, you may have experienced the anxiety that comes along. “Will I slur my words, pronounce something wrong, or choke under the pressure and not say anything at all?” Are all thoughts that come into many second-language learners’ minds. When humor is utilized correctly and gets a positive reaction from students, such as smiling and laughing, it creates a light, non judgmental learning environment. In such environment, mistakes can be taken for what they are, instead of the person speaking thinking that
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