Abdellatif Lahsini writes:

After finishing a lesson about time, a teacher asked students to work in pairs. John asked his classmate, "What time is it now?"

The student to his right said, "It’s two to two."

John didn’t understand, so he turned to the student to his left and asked, "What time is it now?" The student replied, "It’s two to two, too !"

One might ask what role does a silly joke have in the challenging task of learning a language? For students – especially beginners – breaking down their anxiety and fear with a simple joke helps them relax and engage their minds in a positive atmosphere.

Using humor as a teaching strategy was the subject of one of many interesting workshops I attended at the 43rd Annual International Association of Teachers as a Foreign Language Conference held in Cardiff, Wales, from March 31 to April 4.

I was among more than 600 teachers from around the world gathered to participate in more than 300 panels and workshops during those five days to share new strategies, discuss challenges and share new ideas in the field.

My name is Abdellatif Lahsini, and I have been teaching English for 32 years. I began teaching in 1977 in high school and, since 1989, I’ve been teaching at the AmericanLanguageCenter in Mohammedia. I have taught the full range of English learners, including young learners, teenagers and adults. April’s conference recharged my passion for teaching and reminded me that even as a teacher, I always have new things to learn. From techniques for keeping teens interested in learning to developing projects to increase students’ global awareness, I learned the most fruitful techniques and strategies to develop my own approach in the classroom and how to extend that to my students’ enjoyment as well.

Thanks to this conference, I feel that my career is beginning anew ! Even after 32 years of teaching, there is no such thing as boredom !

I look forward to next year’s conferences. Thanks to the AmericanLanguageCenter, Mohammedia, and our director, for supporting me and sending me to IATEFL.