Performing introductions: Speech acts for the classroom.


When I am planning a lesson, I always put time into finding a good “hook” so that I can engage students from the first words spoken. I have never found a foolproof formula and often think of how I could have made the opening better, or bolder, or funnier. I might have been missing the point. According to Jason Rutter, humor as a form of discourse, is quite predictable. He claims that many academic papers describe jokes as “canonical structures” and that audiences respond to them in a “systematic manner” (Rutter, 1997, p. 463).

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