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Rewarding Students

 
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Ann



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 9:41 pm    Post subject: Rewarding Students Reply with quote

I have a small class of dedicated students. I want to give them a little something for being there in class, attending, and completing their assignments even though they were not required to do so for this course.
Is it going to be construed as something else if I give them a little something? These are not kids so rewarding them might not be appropriate.
Have you done this? Is it a good or bad idea?
Since its a small class, I don't mind spending the dough.
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xiaoyu



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Posts: 167
Location: China & Montana, USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think it would depend on the situation whether or not it would be appropriate... and also on what your employer thinks.... keep in mind too what "reward" would be appropriate... i did this once, after careful consideration, with a small class of my students in china... we went to dinner together and then sang karaoke.... i made it so that they tried to speak english constantly and yet we had fun! they really enjoyed it and it gave them the chance to practice their english in a relaxed, fun environment....
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Roger



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know enough about your class and cirtcumstances there, but I would refrain from offering pricey rewards for fear this might be misconstrued to mean I am bribing them! Note that 'no pain no gain" also translates into rewards in the form of higher proficiency in the target subject, in your students' case English.

However, from time to time I do feel like rewarding too - here in China (money worship!) I offer them an non-pecuniary bonus such as a photograph of myself with them.
There are other ways, to be sure, but dining out and such like is not my cup of tea although I often get invited as a bonus by my students! I would NOT do this in return - hosting 30 or 50 learners at my expense would send the wrong message!
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Ann



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, with a teacher's salary I don't know if I can even dream about expensive rewards, leave alone gifting them.
I was talking about pens or journals. Sheesh!
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 2:22 am    Post subject: It depends Reply with quote

Depending on the policies of your school -- and the culture, too, I'd imagine -- you may be limited in your good intentions. Here in Mexico at the university where I teach, bringing in something to eat on occasion is acceptable. Just before a holiday or at the end of a semester, I've been known to spring for a cake for each of my classes. Here a good bakery-made cake isn't too expensive, and I also pick up some inexpensive paper plates and plastic forks to go along with it.
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1094
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:25 am    Post subject: When you eat your smarties do you crunch them very fast? Reply with quote

Ann,

I often give goodies to my students to reward them - and the majority of my students are adults!

Often, at the end of a term, we have some competitive grammar review game, and the winning team receives a pack of Smarties or M&Ms or other easily shared prize.

I had some Hello Kitty clutter at home which I used as a prize for an idiom review game, and wouldn't you know it, the two giant Swiss footballers won the prize. The looks on their faces were priceless when I handed them cute little double-ended Hello Kitty pens, pink highlighter on one end, Hello Kitty stamp on the other. They proceeded to stamp everyone in the class with it, got the Japanese students roaring with laughter, and required us to do a little microlesson on vocabulary to describe Hello Kitty - sweet, inocuous, ubiquitous, bland, cheery and obnoxious!

I've used candy and sweets to pick up a sleepy class of international college kids. The sugar gives them a boost and sometimes the candy itself provides a little discussion time. We talk about texture, packaging, flavours and availability of certain candy bars in different countries.
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2129
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:13 am    Post subject: I say "sure", why not? Reply with quote

Laughing Hello Ann Laughing

I think it's GREAT to reward students (or groups of students) as long as it's done in moderation, and you feel that they have earned it. As several of the posters have already mentioned, I think it's really cool to give rewards that are somehow 'related' to the subject matter at hand.

For example, I have a TV and VCR in my classroom here in Russia, and for exceptional test results, or special holidays (like Christmas), I sometimes show a movie (in English, of course!) without subtitles or voice-overs. This may seem trivial, but here in Russia, it's VERY hard to find films in English that haven't been dubbed.

I kick in a bucket of popcorn or a box of chocolates, turn off the lights, and let them enjoy themselves. I see no harm in this kind of reward, as long as it's not seen as "favoritism" (i.e. the reward is for the benefit of the group, as opposed to any single individual). If, on top of that, the 'reward' is somehow related to learning (or enjoying) the English language, all the better.

You certainly don't need to spend 'big bucks' to show your feelings. Students will understand your motives ... and your budget, and they will love you for it. Rolling Eyes

JustMy2RublesForYa,
Kent
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arioch36



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3589

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you don't have too many students, I think something like pens would make a great farewell present. During the semester I tend to you those little Dove bars or Kisses. Not very permanent. I don't know of any school that would object. No country I have been to.
Another possibility is pictures together put on a postcard,etc.
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Ann



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2003 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for all your great suggestions.
I wish I could show a film, but since the course is so short, I can't use any class time for the movies.
I decided to against rewarding these particular students because I think they can understand verbal incentives better than my lower level non-native speakers. I usually reward my other students with candy or stickers. (They are also adults).
So patting someone on the back (careful here Wink ) and saying, "Good job" is enough for some people, while it may not be enough for some. In this instance, I'm going with the former.
But I have taken note of all your suggestions. Thanks again!
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