Date of Graduation


Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


School of Education


Teaching English as a Second Language

First Advisor

Dr. Sedique Popal


Research has shown that there are many benefits to using humor in the ESL classroom. Although this is known, oftentimes humor is avoided. There are a variety of reasons for humor not being incorporated into the ESL classroom. In addition, because much of the research and curriculum development regarding humorous wordplay and its benefits for ESL students has been focused on children, there is a paucity of curriculum, materials, and resources which focus on humor and wordplay relating to adult topics and themes.

The purpose of this project is to fill the gap between what is available and what is needed to give ESL teachers in community-based adult education programs and community colleges in the United States a resource and a guide to help them not only incorporate humor into their classrooms, but to also help them help their students increase their metalinguistic awareness through the use of adult related humor and humorous wordplay. Using jokes, puns, and riddles, which are all forms of humorous wordplay, to incorporate humor in the adult ESL classroom will not only create a fun and more relaxed environment, but it will also help ESL students in increasing their understanding of the English language and American culture in ways that they might not get in any other way.