Exploring EFL Teachers and Learners Perception of L2 Humor: A Case Study of Iranian English Language Institutes

Maryam Farnia
Payame Noor University
Shiva Mohammadi
Amin Institute of Higher Education, Fooladshahr
Keywords: humor perception, appropriate humor, L2 humor, inappropriate humor


The present paper deals with the perception of Iranian EFL teachers and learners in using humor in language classrooms. To this end, 10 English classes with a population of 70 female and male students and 5 male and female teachers in English language institutes in Esfahan were observed during spring and summer 2019. Using an ethnographic approach, the data were collected through observation and interview. The results showed that both teachers and learners had a positive attitude towards the use of L2 humor in the classroom. Language learners reasoned that having a sense of humor is one of the important qualities a language teacher should possess. The teachers and language learners acknowledged the positive effects of humor such as reducing the distance between teachers and learners, lowering learners’ anxiety, boosting learners’ retention of the lesson, as well as increasing their concentration and motivation. Moreover, language learners showed a preference for the use L2 humor, course-related humor, and L1 norm-oriented types of humor in their classroom.

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