Friday, May 9, 2014

Humor and Satire – The Art of Language

Humor is the art of language. It plays a positive role in education, which can create a healthy relationship and relaxing atmosphere in the classroom. It can lower the stress and affective filter in learning and hence promote learning outcomes. As a learner, I appreciate the professors’ witty remarks in their feedbacks, which is a tacit skill necessary in successful instruction I think. Unlike robots, teachers are real people, who have emotions and creativity. Their responses to students is so dynamic and context-dependent that they cannot be pre-programed and normalized with a mundane pattern. With a sense of humor, teachers can present the art of teaching.

I think it is a great idea to add the carnival element in our instruction. Maybe it sounds crazy to educational professionals who believe that teaching and learning is a serious matter. Education is a critical issue but educators can also educate in a delightful way. According to Bakhtin, “a carnival sense of the world possesses a mighty life-creating and transforming power, an indestructible vitality” (Shields, p. 98). Successful teaching should conduct an enjoyable learning experience to students, where they can play a part in and develop with passion and creativity.
Humor is an attitude and an approach to life, which can be discovered and experienced everywhere. Like humor, satire is another powerful language genre. We learned Chekhov’s The Man in a Case in middle school, which helped us to understand irony in literature. I appreciate the parodic way the author portray the characters in the story and his sardonic humor and pungent satire stirred me profoundly. I was also impressed by the end of the story in O'Henry's The Cop and the Anthem, which gave me a sharp contrast to what I expected.

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