Maybe this is why students tend to love their ESL classes.
We can actually include something in our lessons that will fire up the reward brain circuits in our students’ brains. However, there can be a downside to this.
Neuroscientists at Harvard found that people’s brain reward circuits lit up when they were talking about themselves. Amazingly, doing this can trigger the same sensations of pleasure in the brain as food, money or sex.
In other words, talking about ourselves feels good. In fact, it feels so good that participants in a study were willing to accept 25% less money if it meant that they could talk about themselves rather than talk about someone else.
This research has interesting implications for our ESL classes.
We now know how to help our students enjoy conversation activities, and that’s good. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Apparently, some students like the brain pleasure they feel so much that they can’t stop themselves from dominating conversations talking about themselves.