Lessons from Behavioral Economics for EFL Teachers

Right about now (isn’t technology amazing?) I am delivering a workshop entitled “Lessons from Behavioral Economics for EFL Teachers” at the KOTESOL National Conference.

For the ideas I mostly used three books.  They are

  1. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  2. Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health Wealth and Happiness by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein.
    I am a big Thaler guy from way back.
  3. Think Like a Freak by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
    (Click here for my “Teach like a Freak” collection.)

Here is the abstract from my workshop:

Are there things that Kahneman,Thaler, Harford, and Levitt can teach us about English language teaching in Korea that Thornbury, Nation, Krashen, Farrell, and Larsen-Freeman cannot? While Behavioral Economics is not typically the province of EFL educators, perhaps there are important lessons that could be garnered from readings in the area. Perhaps lessons and ways of thinking embedded in the field Behavioral Economics that are typically not considered in ELT conferences and research or the field in general could be of use to English teachers in Korea. In this interactive and discussion-based session, lessons from Behavioral Economics will be considered and audience members will be asked to share their thoughts on how ideas from behavioral economics could be applied to their own teaching and working situations. The world of nudges, biases, sunk costs, loss aversion, and framing choices will be connected to the world of English language teaching and will be used as lenses to examine the ELT field.  Attempting to bridge the gap between these seemingly different fields will provide participants with fresh perspectives on both their teaching contexts and the challenges that might be found in these contexts. Participants can expect to walk away with new ways of framing and attempting to work through challenges they encounter as EFL teachers in Korea.

And finally (for now) here are my very simple and not at all flashy Powerpoint slides:
Lessons from Behavioral Economics I’m not sure how helpful they will be to those interested in the topic but I am sharing them anyway. Please let me know if you have any questions, ideas or reading suggestions. Hopefully there will be another post or more coming on this topic.

One comment

  1. Pingback: Get your Linguistic Landscape on | ELT Rants, Reviews, and Reflections

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