Humor in Teaching Malay Language: A Malaysian Case

Abdul Rahman Abd Aziz, Abdul Ghani Kanesan Abdullah, Thiyagarajan Annalamai


Effective learning can only occur in a healthy, vibrant and a democratic society, when there is humor in the process of teaching and learning. However, humor is often neglected and given less attention in the teaching and learning proves currently. Thus, this studywasconductedto identify the extend of thepractices of humor in teaching and learning by the Malay language teachers apart from identifying the type of humor that are often used these teachers, and the effect of these practiceson teachers and students.This study was conducted among the teachers and students of secondary schools in the Northern District Peninsular Malaysia through the utilization of questionnaires, interviews and observations. A total of 68 teachers responded to the questionnaire. Meanwhile four teachers were selected through "opportunity sampling" was observed and interviewed on a continuous basis. In addition to this, a total of 119 students from the classes that were taught by these four teachers selected through ‘opportunity sampling’ were involved in responding to the questionnaires. Hence the findings indicated that the Malay language teachers were alreadypracticing humor in their teaching and learning, but at a moderate level. However the type of humor that is often practiced consists of jokes, satire, funny comments, funny words, and cartoons. Concurrently, findings also indicates that the practice of humor can provide a positive impact on students, forge closer and friendlier relationship with teachers and reduce feelings of 'fear' between teachers and students as well as fostering positive values among students and the community. Furthermore, the results of interviews and observations also revealed that the ability of teachers to teach with humor helps them in reducing their emotional stress. In fact, teachers can build self-esteem, self-motivation and meet their commitments effectively.

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