Workshop participants viewed some brief video extracts of teachers talking to their classes. They categorized features of the teachers' presentations into those that were conducive to ESL student comprehension, and those that were less so.
A participant asked whether she should continue to make jokes in her class, in view of their difficulty for ESL students. Here is a summary of the presenter's reply:
"Most teachers like to include jokes and anecdotes in their lessons. They help build rapport with the students and make lessons more enjoyable. The advice, therefore, is certainly not to dispense with jokes altogether but to be aware of their exclusionary effect on ESL students, who are usually lacking the necessary linguistic or cultural knowledge. Teachers can combat this by taking the trouble to explain, or by having other students explain, the meanings of one or two of the jokes they tell."