Constructing a Pedagogy of Comedy: Sarcasm and Print Codes as Social Literacies in Winnie-the-PoohReportar como inadecuado

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Journal of Language and Literacy Education, v6 n1 p58-74 2010

This article provides a theoretical framework for a pedagogy of comedy that aids evaluation or instruction of the linguistic and social literacies that are part of speech act implicature and context. By understanding comedy's embeddedness in (an incongruence with) social and linguistic relationships and expectations, comedic texts and episodes can be heuristics that target areas of knowledge that are underdeveloped in groups or individuals. This article examines two types of comedy: sarcasm and meta-communicational commentary; and visual print literacy mistakes as social phenomena. While pedagogy often examines character traits in fiction, this article utilizes forms or frames of comedy borrowed from linguistic, cognitive, and educational research. Examining comedy frames, rather than character types, allows for meta-cognitive analysis of recurring, but individually situated, social and linguistic strategies and practices. The article examines episodes from Winnie-the-Pooh to provide practical classroom practices where instructors discuss comedy's social and communicational incongruence with social conventions and expectations (literacies) that are required to ''get the joke." Through discussion of comedy's forms, gaps in linguistic and social knowledge can be identified in students, and reading strategies can be provided for understanding indirect communication and context.

Descriptors: Comedy, Childrens Literature, Metacognition, Negative Attitudes, Critical Theory, Literary Devices, Speech Acts, Semantics, Phoneme Grapheme Correspondence, Spelling, Error Patterns, Interpersonal Communication, Educational Theories, Congruence (Psychology)

Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia. 315 Aderhold Hall, Athens, GA 30602. Tel: 706-542-7866; Fax: 706-542-3817; e-mail: jolle[at]; Web site:

Autor: Kohn, Liberty; Yarbrough, Wynn


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