Marina, could you tell us about this book and why it was written?

This book was created to introduce British humour to English lessons. The author, George Woolard, is an experienced ELT teacher who teaches a range of English courses at Stevenson College, Edinburgh.  

The book is a bank of 92 photocopiable lessons which can be used with minimum preparation and which focus on four areas that introduce humour to your group: Jokes (understanding double meanings), Cartoons (predicting and understanding captions), Misprints (finding and understanding them), and Funny Stories (graded funny stories with an amusing last line).

Regarding British humour and students, Woolard says you are “not to lead them by the hand …but to set up the lesson where they can discover meaning for themselves”.

How can it be used? Which levels is it aimed at?

Some lessons can be used as light ‘fillers’ whereas others, such as the stories, can take a whole lesson. Some can even be used as homework but many work well to stimulate discussion. Woolard very helpfully gives some guidance before each section, at times explaining for example, that you need to pre-teach vocabulary and at other times explaining the process of students’ understanding of nonliteral meaning and inferencing. This book may be used from Elementary level to Advanced. Level codes exist for certain lessons and most lessons can be adapted to your group.  Some are also suitable for a Café or Conversation Club environment as they will help students speak and hopefully laugh together.

Reviews have been extremely positive from teachers who have had a laugh with their students as a result of these ‘jokes’. One teacher did denigrate it to the level of mere Christmas cracker jokes but I think most teachers would agree that if it takes a cracker joke to help explain homophones, phrasal verbs, or the conditional – then why not?!

Other books in the series include: Grammar with Laughter: Photocopiable Exercises for Instant Lessons Instant Discussions: Photocopiable Lessons on Common Topics Instant Discussions: Taboos and Issues: Photocopiable Lessons on Controversial Topics


Photocopiable Lessons for Different Levels by George Woolard.

CENGAGE ELT; 1 Spi edition (1 Jan. 1996). 94 pages. ISBN-10: 1899396357 ISBN-13: 978-1899396351