Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers – Series Editor: Penny Ur

Laughing Matters is a resource book dealing with humor in the language classroom. It provides over 120 activities which will inject some light-hearted fun into lessons whilst still being grounded in respected language learning theory. Jokes provide teachers with a rich resource of patterned language use and cultural knowledge. Humor is also a very effective way to help students remember key concepts and structures. Humor can be one of the hardest aspects of a foreign language for students to understand, yet it is also one of the most rewarding.

This book provides support for teachers in the form of background information on humor and step-by-step guidance on how to carry out the activities and suggestions for further work. It will be of particular interest to teachers who are non-native speakers and may need some confidence-building before using humor in the language classroom.

Chapter Titles:

1. Funny Starts
2. Jokes and Wisecracks
3. Puns and Puzzles
4. Proverbs and Quotations
5. Poems and Songs
6. Pictures and Images
7. Stories and Anecdotes
8. Sketches and Dialogues
9. Errors and Failures
10. Children and Schools

Is Due Diligence Worth It?

What Is Due Diligence? Due diligence is defined as: “Due Diligence is a term used for a number of concepts involving either the performance of an investigation of a business or person, prior to the signing of a contract, or the performance of an act with a certain standard of care.” Source Wikipedia

Note the key thing is ‘prior to the signing of a contract’. This assumes the person is rational. However, as we have seen from previous posts buyers are irrational. The level of that ‘irrationality’ is directly related to how emotional the person is. So if the person is pretty ‘gung ho’ they are ready to get into a legitimate work from home career. Is this the best person to join your business opportunity? Your initial thought might be, ’sure’.


This may not actually be the best decision for you. This is because you want a person who is comfortable with your business and has an element of trust in you. This is where encouraging them to carry out their due diligence will assist you. You need to, ‘pre-qualify’ the person and work with people who will follow through on the initial decision that you have a legitimate business opportunity.

So whilst someone may seem to be taking their time to decide and you may find this frustrating, the cost of a hasty decision may be worse. It is better to have 10 people visit your page and enter their details to find out more information via due diligence and then purchase, than have 100 visits.

The two worlds are the social and market worlds. They are not separate as we live in them both at the same time.


This is the everyday world where there is no form of trading or transaction. We know it’s the social world because neither party expects payment for the relationship. This world is governed by ’social norms’, these social norms can vary according to different cultures, however, each society has its own norms (rules) which are unwritten however generally understood. They govern how we behave in everyday situations and they are what we teach our children.


Home-based businesses are part of ‘market norms’. That is they offer some form of product or service and in exchange receive payment. Trading is centuries old and there is evidence it originally involved things like exchanging colored beads for goods. The traders agree what a particular bead is worth and the relationship is purely buyer and seller.


With the increased access to the Internet, the opportunities to set up a home-based business are within the reach of a lot more people. In addition to the advent of ‘attraction marketing’ where you aim to attract people to you, the use of social network sites to identify possible clients has become common. This is called social media marketing and includes sites like, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, and Linkedin to name a few.

Where many marketers have problems is they join a social network and begin marketing straight away. They quickly get reputations as ’spammers’ and a nuisance. Why is this? It’s because they have joined a social environment and immediately started to give a sales pitch. It’s similar to being invited to a party and the first thing you do is hand your business card to everyone, this is something you would never thing of doing.

In the next post, I will explain how to properly manage social and market norms in social media marketing to avoid getting a bad reputation in social networks.