Teach English in Qingshuiqiao Zhen - Yongzhou Shi

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Effective praise builds a student’s character and strengthens their attempts at all tasks they encounter. The key word to this point is effective. When praise is targeted at the wrong aspect of a student’s work, then a negative effect has chance to takeover. So is it normal after all to praise students and if so how should a teacher go about the task? First, it is very normal to praise students. Its even encouraged and appreciated. Praise can give the student confidence, make them feel happy, and give them the drive to do well to get more praise. Praise is the cheapest form of a reward in material value, but the most expensive in emotional value. When it comes to giving praise, there are some guidelines to make it effective and not lose its emotional value. The target of praise should be on the students’ effort and accomplishments, not their abilities. For example, saying something along the lines of, “your english is really good!” does two bad things. One, if any other students overhear that, it could hurt their study of english as they may think their english is much worse than that students. Two and more importantly, the student receiving the praise may take less risks when speaking english in fear of not getting praise but rather getting scolded. So, a better way to give praise is by saying something like, “I can tell from your grade that you worked hard to prepare for this test.” This shows other students that overheard that the student worked hard and more importantly the student is acknowledged for their efforts and not just their ability. Now the student will likely continue to work hard striving to get those good grades and praise. Another factor to consider when giving a praise is what exactly the praise is being directed at. Simply telling the student, “good job”, while still making them feel good, is inadequate, as it only has a short term effect. There needs to be a specific target for what the student did that received the praise. This will reward the student with the long term effect of continuing to work hard to improve that area in hopes of receiving more praise when those new efforts have been realized. As teachers, we realize that different personalities deal with compliments differently. I’ll use myself for an example, growing up I hated praise as I was confident and didn’t feel that what I was doing was that impressive. Then in my later years as a high-school student and college student, I felt that what I was doing was actually difficult and really felt great when my efforts were realized through praise. Teachers need to realize what way of praise will make their student feel the most comfortable. This could mean only giving praise in private meetings like mid semester progress evaluations. Another way would be to write praise down on their assignment that brought on the compliment. Finally, on a side note of when and how to give praise, a teacher should do their best to praise everyone. This was touched on in the point about praising effort not ability. Effort can ensure that everyone is noticed. Assuming that everyone works hard of course. Language is difficult to learn, especially for those that are learning their first. Just by being noticed, a student can feel so much better about themselves no matter how difficult the language is proving to be. Praise is not a bad thing when used effectively. Appropriately too of course. Teachers that know their students, and praise their efforts will be giving their students the greatest reward. This character improvement will be seen throughout their lives and should make for great semesters where students work hard and enjoy doing so to better themselves knowing they can make their teachers proud. Works Cited https://www.interventioncentral.org/behavioral-interventions/motivation/teacher-praise-efficient-tool-motivate-students