Question: What is the value of puns to English (nonnative) learners?
Answer: What makes English hard to learn for nonnative speakers of English is its double meanings. The pun is based on a double meaning. There are, according to this author, three types of puns: The soundalike pun, lookalike pun and close-sounding pun.
Teacher: Tell me something that conducts electricity.
Teacher: Very good—wire! Now, name a unit of electrical power.
Student: The what?
Teacher: Very good job—the watt is correct!.
The Lookalike Pun“These puns are based on words that both sound and look the same but have two or more unrelated meanings.”
Teacher: Karen, what is the highest form of animal life?
Karen: A giraffe?
The Close-Sounding Pun
Tim: Knock knock.
Teri: Who’s there?
Teri: Eiffel who?
Tim: Eiffel down and scraped my knee.
Comment: This article is a keeper. Order it from the International Reading Association (IRA): http://www.reading.org. . The title of the article is: “Pun Work Helps English Learners Get the Joke.” Kristin Lems. The Reading Teacher (November 2011), 187-201. The article explains how to teach the pun. Idioms are also difficult for English language learners. They, too, have two meanings. RayS.