Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Jokes for ESL Students

I have a list of silly Halloween jokes. Since I teach ESL to adults, this list of Halloween jokes is not usually an integral part of any of my lessons. However, if we have time during our lesson, and if the moment seems right, I pull out the list.

The great thing about some jokes is that they provide an opportunity to introduce new vocabulary, idioms and slang. For example, one of the jokes is:

Q. Why shouldn't witches lose their tempers?
A. Because they will fly off the handle.

Here's an opportunity to teach my ESL students two new ways to talk about someone becoming very angry:

(1) to lose one's temper,
(2) to fly off the handle

Another joke:

Q. What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?
A. Frostbite.

This allowed me to teach two new vocabulary words to most of my ESL students: (1) frost, and (2) frostbite.

Humor is one of the more difficult things for English language learners to understand. So much of our humor is based on cultural references and wordplay. It's a great way to teach vocabulary and, also, for an ESL student to know that he or she is really making progress (at least in some areas).

Of course, humor is subjective. Even if someone understands everything about the joke, he or she may still not think it's funny. That's another story...


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