How can learning efficiency be improved in teaching economics in English as a foreign language?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study examines which teaching methods facilitate students' comprehension in economics courses where both the teacher and students are non-native speakers of English. A theoretical model of learning efficiency in such courses was developed in light of the economics of innovation, which identifies three determinants of learning efficiency: absorptive capacity, spillover pool and pedagogy. On the basis of this model, a questionnaire was designed and administered at an Italian business school. The results show that when the effect of students' English proficiency is controlled, teachers' effort to relate lesson contents to the real world by examples significantly improves learning efficiency. Students' linguistic skills negate the significance of teachers' language-specific efforts, such as slowing the speech rate and providing written materials complementary to oral presentations. Therefore, an emphasis should be placed on general pedagogical efforts, such as the mitigation of abstractness, rather than devising teaching practices idiosyncratic to English as a foreign language.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-59
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Knowledge and Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Absorptive capacity
  • Concept maps
  • Economics
  • EFL
  • English as a foreign language
  • Factor analysis
  • Knowledge spillover
  • Learning efficiency
  • Ordered probit
  • Teaching methods: pedagogy


Dive into the research topics of 'How can learning efficiency be improved in teaching economics in English as a foreign language?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this