Below is a video from John Cleese’s very “informative” brain podcast (actual content begins around 35 seconds). You’ll notice, of course, that nearly every sentence is almost entirely gibberish.
It is humorous to us in large part because . . .
- John Cleese is a masterful humorist who can make gobbledygook sound sensical, and . . .
- It is a low stakes environment. None of us will be held accountable for his 1.5 minutes worth of “content.” We’ll watch, marvel and share it, and then go on with our lives.
However, the video offers an instructive peek into the daily experience of scores of students who struggle to decipher language — either because of receptive language challenges or immersion in a new language such as English. We know that stress inhibits learning, so the question becomes, how can we alleviate/manage our content delivery to minimize student stress so as to best capitalize on their learning potential?
If we needed to truly understand this information, how might Mr. Cleese revise his methods? How would you deliver this “content” to ensure students understood it?