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22 Humour British English Lessons

These English Lessons are built around English jokes. The jokes may be old or new; they may be very funny or just amusing. The language of the joke is explored and you will begin to understand a very important aspect of the English language - humour. Many students of English, be they students of English as a second language or of English as a foreign language, find it very difficult to "get" English jokes. British humour has a strong satirical element aimed at showing the absurdity of everyday life. A lot of English humour depends on cultural knowledge and the themes commonly include the British class system, wit, innuendo, to boost subjects and puns, self-deprecation, sarcasm, and insults. As well as this, English humour is often delivered in a deadpan way or is considered by many to be insensitive. A particular aspect of British English humour is the humour of the macabre, were topics that are usually treated seriously are treated in a very humorous or satirical way.

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10 of our 22 Humour British English Lessons

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Wear the Fox Hat

A lack of understanding of the English that sounds rude can get you into difficulties, as Tatiana and her new husband discovered when she misheard his advice and went off for a day trip to Worcester in the wrong attire. This lesson will help you get to grips with the F word and help you to avoid similar misunderstandings. English humour is a great way to improve your English skills and this lesson will certainly make you chuckle when you get the joke. As with all the Sounds Rude lessons, it is suitable for 18+ students only as it contains language that sounds rude.


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Minute and Minute - Homographs

In this lesson, we will look at two of my video English lessons, one showing you how homonyms can be the basis for English jokes, and the other looking at the two words minute and minute. If you don’t know why these two words are different, then this lesson is certainly for you. The first video takes just one minute and 216 words to teach you all about the words minute and minute. The other video is a fun joke to help you understand why Tony's pet newt is called Tiny. After you have watched the videos, we will look at some of the more common homographs in English like: bass, bow, close, content, desert, incense, insult, invalid, object, read, row, suspect, tear, wind, and wound.  


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Pick Up

A look at the phrasal verb, pick up, with a listening activity to help you develop your listening skills, a video to sit back and enjoy, and some interactive questions to help you learn, remember, and use this important phrasal verb.


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Political Correctness

Political correctness or PC is a term used to describe language designed not to cause offence to members of a particular group in society. The term is usually used to imply that the language is unwarranted and unnecessary. Political correctness extends beyond language to government policies and measures which are supposed to be more inclusive towards those traditionally discriminated against. This lesson will introduce you to some of the thinking behind political correctness as well as to some of the language that is now deemed to be politically correct.


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Tin Tin Tin

A quick look at how not all English from Britain sounds the same and how it can be quite confusing for students. There are 100s of regional accents and many distinct dialects in Britain. Many English people have difficulty understanding some of the more unusual varieties of English found in the British Isles, so it's no surprise that students of English are completely confounded when they first encounter such English. This lesson will introduce you to the wonderful world of the English heard in Yorkshire, a region of North East England, and a part of the country in which I spent some of my formative years.


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Sounds British - Word Stress

Learn about and practice syllables and word stress. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack, we are going to practice hearing the correct stress in English words. First, we will practice counting the syllables in words. Then, we will practice hearing where the main stress is in words. Finally, we will look at a comedy sketch which shows what happens when you mispronounce English words. Sounds British - Word Stress


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Just for Laughs 1

I’ve chosen 7 short British English jokes for this lesson. These 7 English jokes will help you understand English humour and improve your vocabulary. English humour can be difficult for non-native English speakers. This is why simple English jokes are a very good way of teaching vocabulary, and why  They will also show you how British English humour depends on word play, puns, and pronunciation, as well as the multiple meanings of some English words. There are exercises to go with each joke which will help you to really understand there the humour comes from. By mastering English humour, you will be developing your English skills in an enjoyable and memorable way. 


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The Beach

Watch some short and amusing video clips and answer some simple questions to help with your English listening skills. These stop motion clay animation comedy animated short films match animated zoo animals with a soundtrack of people talking about their homes, making it appear as if the animals are being interviewed about their living conditions. Once you have watched each of the short video clips, try to answer the questions about what you have heard. Because the speakers you will hear are normal, everyday folk, this exercise will help you to develop your English listening skills while also providing a bit of light relief.


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You're in Trouble

I haven't always been an English teacher. Indeed, I have done quite a few jobs, including two stints as a police officer. When I look back on my days as a police officer, I can recall many incidents that I'd like to share with you as anecdotes to help you develop your reading, listening comprehension, and vocabulary skills. Today's anecdote is about an incident I dealt with while working on my beat in the small village of Saint Martins, in Shropshire, England. I was, at the time, the village policeman, and spent my days driving around my beat in my trusty old Land Rover. It was a very sleepy village, and exciting incidents were few and far between. I should warn you that the incident I'm about to relate to you is not particularly exciting. Nevertheless, it's certainly one incident in my policing career that I shall never forget.        


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The Black Hole - Phrasal Verbs

Activate your listening skills with a short story, then enhance your understanding with a short video, and finally activate some phrasal verbs with a substitution exercise. In the story of the Black Hole, an office worker is waiting for the photocopier to finish copying. There's a problem with the copier and he kicks the machine in frustration. A moment later a sheet of paper emerges with a large black circle printed on it. The man visually examines the circle on the sheet of paper and is puzzled. He puts the paper down and opens the lid of the copier to see what the problem is. He closes the lid of the copier, checks the time on his watch, and takes a final drink from a white plastic cup. He places the plastic cap on the black circle on the sheet of paper and is shocked to see that the plastic cup disappears. Puzzled, he looks closely at the sheet of paper and the black circle. He touches the black circle tentatively before putting his hand into the circle. His hand disappears...


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10 of our 22 Humour British English Lessons


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