Cancelled Making sense of memes and humor: Some classroom teaching materials and research possibilities
This presentation reports on the piloting of a series of class lessons that explores how memes and humor can be utilized in foreign language (English) elementary school classrooms in Taiwan. In the literature on language and humor, online jokes and memes are framed and stylized as ludic (humorous) play, while at the same time, they bring to the surface common views of politics. Memes are sometimes only viewed in isolation without examining how they actually map onto larger, complex discourses of activism and political commentary across time and contexts and in strategic ways. These intertextual chains (Fairclough, 1992) are what assists in alliance-building, deepening relationships and feelings (Davis, 2008) and negotiating common perspectives, values, and standpoints (Tsakona, 2020), all of which are important in developing sound democracies. With content and language integrated learning (CLIL) burgeoning across Taiwanese classrooms due to Taiwan’s Bilingual Nation 2030 language policy, research at the nexus of language, (current and relevant) content learning, and technology becomes even more important. The presentation offers teacher and student reflections from the lessons as well as implications for incorporating more extensively memes and humor in the classroom.