Laugh and Learn: Mixed methods and Interdisciplinarity in Educational Humor Studies Mary Yakimowski and Manuela Wagner, University of Connecticut AAAL 2013 S S “’I have experienced it again and again: just one single bright and general laugh-and the whole hour was under a friendly star. Such a laugh runs like a rippling brook, like a fragrant wind or forest breeze through the soul. Cheerfulness is indeed not learning, but it is a disposition to learn. Brightness, furthermore, is the sister of confidence. To the child the teacher still seems-I do not wish to use the worst word 'enemy'--only too often a sort of oppressor, one who drives, a gloomy admonisher, in short, a sort of tormentor. A feeling of tension and of antagonism is more frequent than the nature of the individuals should demand. But he who laughs with us, with him we drink out of one cup. When the master laughs, then even the most timid and most reserved scholar says to himself: 'He is a man', and receives the gifts of the teacher no longer as dubious ones that carry nothing but anxiety and trouble in their wake. School is certainly not a vaudeville and comedy-stage, but it is a vineyard which needs abundant sunshine and which will produce sour fruit for lack of it.” (Krause,1917, p.236) Background S “Laughing Matters: Humor in the Language Classroom” (Medgyes, 2002) S “If they’re Laughing, They Just Mght be Listening: Ideas for Using Humor Effectively in the Classroom – Even if You’re Not Funny Youself ” (Lundberg and Miller Thurston, 2002) S “To be sure, we cannot turn the irregular verbs directly into a regular pleasure, but we can do indefinitely much to make their treatment pleasurable. In this, humor is undoubtedly one of the most powerful and ready aids.” (Krause, 1917, p. 236) Complexity of humor studies S “After the painful planning of my master’s studies on humor in education I was so disappointed that I did not find a direct link between the use of humor and student learning that I changed my topic for my dissertation to something more doable.” What role(s) does humor play in the language classroom? What are the (perceived) benefits of using/introducing humor in the language classroom?” (e.g., Davies, 2003; Ketabi & Shahla, 2009; Ziyaeemehr, Kumar & Faiz, 2011; Pomerantz & Bell, 2011; Golchi & Jamali, 2001; Aboudan, 2009) What are the (perceived) risks of using/introducing humor in the language classroom? (Ziyaeemehr, Kumar & Faiz, 2011) How much humor do teachers and students use in different settings in language education? (Downs, Javidi & Nusbaum, 1988; Neuliep, 1991; Aziz, Abdullah, & Annalamai, 2011; Wagner & Urios-Aparis, 2008) What role(s) does humor play in the language classroom? What types of humor do teachers and students use in different settings in language education?” (Wagner & Urios-Aparisi, 2007, 2008; Aziz, Abdullah & Annalamai, 2011) Does humor facilitate (language) learning? If so, what kinds of humor (can) lead to increased student learning and in what setting(s)? (Aziz, Abdullah & Annalamai, 2011) Does the use of humor create a more relaxed classroom atmosphere and reduce student anxiety with a second language?” (Aziz, Abdullah & Annalamai, 2011; Wagner, Yakimowski & Urios-Aparisi, 2012). S Is humor a content area in the language classroom? What should students learn? S Does humor uptake and/or the ability to produce humor in the target language facilitate our students’ interactions in the target culture? Should they learn how to understand humor? Should they learn how to produce humor in interactions with native speakers? S How is humor related to the various cultural backgrounds in the classroom as well as in the target cultures? What is the connection between humor and intercultural competence? S Is there Interlanguage Humor just as there is Interlanguage Pragmatics? Is there a developmental model for the types of humor that should be introduced to language learners at different levels and at different ages? How does study abroad contribute to a student’s development of humor comprehension and production? Qualitative Design Figure 1. The iterative qualitative research process to inquiry. (Crabtree & Miller, 1992) Quantitative Design Comparing Quantitative and Qualitative Research Design Qual. Vs. Quant. Ct’d Qual. Vs. Quant. Ct’d Qualitative Methods Mixed Methods Quantitative Methods Quantitative Methods Mixed Methods Qualitative Methods The Gold Standard Embracing the complexity of the field Willingness to include multiple methods The Gold Standard Encouraging collaboration Some challenges S 1) Embracing the complexity of the field interdisciplinary collaboration S 2) Interdisciplinary collaboration can lead to PTR issues advocacy S 3)Designing mixed method studies requires knowledge of and familiarity with both paradigms and also experience with mixed methods interdisciplinary collaboration S 4) Adding another paradigm involves collecting more data and/or conducting more analyses databanks collaboration, “The goal of TalkBank is to foster fundamental research in the study of human and animal communication. It will construct sample databases within each of the subfields studying communication. 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