Using Placebos in Language Teaching: A Case Study of ESL Classroom


  • Junaid Shahid Lecturer, Department of English, Government Associate College 41 J.B, Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan
  • Dr. Attia Anwer Zoon Assistant Professor, Department of English, Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Dr. Adnan Tahir Associate Professor, Department of English, Emerson University, Multan, Punjab, Pakistan



Classroom Motivation, Educational Psychology, Learners’ Behavior, Placebo Effect, Second Language Acquisition


The research aims to highlight the significance of producing the positive self-perception of the second language learners to improve their performance and efficiency in the language classroom. It is observed that appreciation of learners increases their confidence and motivation level. Similarly, the psychological notion, named placebo effect has been studies for this research to see how self-image of a student and an encouraging stimulus by a teacher can lead to an improved performance of the learner or not. The placebo effect is predominantly discussed in medical research and practice, but now, this study investigates this psychological concept exclusively in the English language classrooms to evaluate the performance of ESL learners. In this experimental research, two groups of students were involved as control and experimental groups. In the experimental group, all the psychological strategies were applied. In the second group of students, called the control group, all instruction material remained the same as it was for the first group. This experimentation of teaching two groups of learners was guided by two objectives. First, to determine whether the placebo effect is truly suitable in ESL classrooms in improving the learning abilities. Second, is it workable to extend these psychological strategies to other fields? The exploration not only answered the questions encouragingly and validated the claims, but also paved the way for the wider spectrum of educational research.





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How to Cite

Shahid, J., Anwer Zoon, A., & Tahir, A. (2022). Using Placebos in Language Teaching: A Case Study of ESL Classroom. Pakistan Languages and Humanities Review, 6(2), 1079–1089.