MA TESOL alum co-editor of recently published book "Bridging the Humor Barrier: Humor Competency Training in English Language Teaching"
Author: admin
Posted: June 1, 2020

PSU MA TESOL graduate (2001), Caleb Prichard, has recently co-edited a book, entitled Bridging the Humor Barrier: Humor Competency Training in English Language Teaching. Humor has a significant role in communication, but language learners often struggle to detect and comprehend it, leading to significant consequences, from confusion to demotivation. Therefore, a growing number of educators have called for including humor competency training in the language classroom to help learners better recognize, comprehend, respond to, and even produce humor in the target language. However, there has been little research examining such training. This book, co-edited by John Rucynski and published by Lexington Books, aims to address this gap by further promoting research and instruction on humor competency in another language. Chapters come from various cultural contexts, including Iran, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and focus on an array of humor aspects, such as detecting sarcasm to comprehending satirical news.

Caleb, currently an associate professor at Okayama University, first became interested in this topic when a classmate gave a presentation on sarcasm in the Pragmatics course at PSU. With his humor attempts failing many times throughout his career teaching at universities in Korea and Japan, the topic never left him! He started teaching and researching humor instruction, using some of his ideas sparked from the class back in 2000. His other research interests include reading strategies and program administration, with articles published in journals such as TESOL Quarterly and TESOL Journal.