Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sarcasm in the Classroom

We were sitting at the Five Sails Restaurant eating breakfast yesterday when So Hang came up for a chat with us. She had attended our workshop and had some interesting questions for us. One of them was about the use of sarcasm in teaching and whether or not it was OK to do it. Someone else had brought up the subject of sarcasm in a conversation the day before and we had talked about what an interesting topic it would be for a workshop!

So Hang, Chad and I all agreed that learning to understand sarcasm and to use sarcasm was an important part of learning language. We felt that teachers who use sarcasm have a responsibility to ensure that our students are aware that we are being light-hearted and that there is no malice intended. Sarcasm is a subtle linguistic element that can be horribly misunderstood unless students are educated about its nuances. Perhaps a workshop would be a good idea... anyone want to run it?

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