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Encouragement

 
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Lisa Hoppkins



Joined: 24 Jan 2003
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 12:06 am    Post subject: Encouragement Reply with quote

I'm running out of ideas how to encourage students. Using 'well done' and other standard phrases in order to show approval can get rather dull and boring. I'd be most grateful for some new ideas.
Looking forward to your suggestions.
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sita



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 261
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 10:49 am    Post subject: Encouraging ... Reply with quote

Hi!

This is a very important part and you are right, if you just say "well done!" that is not enough.
I give my courses a warming-up activity. I divide them in groups of twos or threes. Then they get a topic: The best excuses: "Why I didn't do my homework..." The group with the best ideas wins. They notice how they have enhanced their wordpower and understand a lot more as the course continues. ( Other topics: How to relax, how to learn vocabulary, how to encounter English daily etc.)

It is fun and they are always in a good mood after these activities as they notice how much they have learned.

Siān
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Glenski



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 164
Location: Sapporo, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 1:28 pm    Post subject: don't worry, be happy. Reply with quote

Start exchanging high-fives, or pumping the air, or giving them the ok/thumbs up sign (depending on what country you are from, this could be offensive).

Group cheers?
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dduck



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 265

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 1:59 pm    Post subject: Encouragement Reply with quote

I think a "well done" can go a long long way. If you say it with lots of enthusiasm, from the bottom of you soul, the students will appreciate it. However, if your "well done"s are casual then the students are likely to casually brush them aside. Everyone likes praise, but it has to be well focused and (at least sound) sincere Wink

Other basics also go a long way: smiling, winking, clapping, jumping up and down, shaking hands, cheering.

More formal methods include: giving awards, certificates, prizes. Most Fast Food places have plaques showing the best employee of the month - I think we'd all like to see our name up in lights. Oh, how vain we are! Smile

Iain
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LarryLatham



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1195
Location: Aguanga, California (near San Diego)

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 3:29 pm    Post subject: Well done... Reply with quote

Good advice from all. Very Happy

I think you have to take your own personality into account. Do what comes most naturally to you. If you "lay it on", you're likely to come off as insincere, and, as Iain has pointed out, that can dull, even reverse, the effect of any comment. I believe you have to be truly sincere with your comments, but the methods can vary widely.

Larry Latham
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Showem



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the things I say and do for encouraging my students:
    "Yes!"
    "Exactly!"
    "Very good!"
    "Yay! Thomas got it right!"
    I clap
    I make everyone else in the class clap to a particularly good effort
    I'll very occasionally say "Very good" in the students' first language, just to keep them on their toes
    I'll give a thumbs up
    I'll simply nod and smile to indicate the answer is right

I do agree with Larry that it has to come naturally and not be forced. I truly am happy (sometimes thinking a small miracle has taken place) when a student gets something right in class. I teach only adults and never the less, they are always pleased when I acknowledge their efforts, even if I make it a bit funny (but also fun for them).
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Diana



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 14
Location: Guam, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 10:15 am    Post subject: Encouraging Students. Reply with quote

Displaying students' work on the bulletin board or posting them around the classroom also gives encouragement. Seeing their work being posted on display can bring happy smiles and even pride to the students. Very Happy
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LindaM



Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 1:29 pm    Post subject: Encouragement for adult learners Reply with quote

Having adult students does require us who teach them to adjust forms of encouragement. Although we hope that the value of learning English is intrinsically rewarded, an occasional, well-placed, sincere gesture of encouragement is something all ages respond to. I have used stickers, candy for Valentine's Day, muffins for a morning lesson, tasting maple syrup, etc. Although the objective may not be to "reward" a student's progress or participation, the cultural live link to American English motivates them. I guess it's just a relevant form of bribery that works!
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Roger



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 274

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess the most effective way of encouraging an adult person is by identifying improvements they actually have made in their handling of English. Thus, I require my students to do more writing than my subject briefs require of them, and after discussing with them the most recurrent problems in their essays or dictations I normally note with satisfaction marked improvements. Fact is that their Chinese teachers do not inculcate in them an awareness of their own failings in communicating in ENglish, so there often is a lot to do and to achieve! If one particular student learns to pay more attention to the SVA or to the tenses, then that surely is a major improvement that should be lauded - publicly!
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noonlite



Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2003 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Lisa and other contributors. Lots of great ideas on encouragement!

I'm adding another post for you Lisa because when I read your post I got the sense that there was some underlying problem in the class that is not being mentioned which is causing discouragement.

I've been in situations where students are in misplaced levels or for one reason or another I have to teach something that is too difficult or too easy for my students, or simply not meeting their needs. No amount of positivity is going to cover this up if it is the case. Are you experiencing something like this? If so I recommend sharing your concerns with the school. Maybe the real solution is altering or adjusting the curriculum. If there is simply nothing that you can do about it through the administration I recommend being honest with your students about it and coming up with some collaborative solutions together.

Again, i don't know if this is what is going on in your case or not, but, generally, if students are not responding to encouragement there is going to be a reason that explains why they are discouraged. Simply offering more encouragement, in these cases, is not usually very effective. Good luck!
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noonlite



Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2003 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Lisa and other contributors. Lots of great ideas on encouragement!

I'm adding another post for you Lisa because when I read your post I got the sense that there was some underlying problem in the class that is not being mentioned which is causing discouragement.

I've been in situations where students are in misplaced levels or for one reason or another I have to teach something that is too difficult or too easy for my students, or simply not meeting their needs. No amount of positivity is going to cover this up if it is the case. Are you experiencing something like this? If so I recommend sharing your concerns with the school. Maybe the real solution is altering or adjusting the curriculum. If there is simply nothing that you can do about it through the administration I recommend being honest with your students about it and coming up with some collaborative solutions together.

Again, i don't know if this is what is going on in your case or not, but, generally, if students are not responding to encouragement there is going to be a reason that explains why they are discouraged. Simply offering more encouragement, in these cases, is not usually very effective. Good luck!
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noonlite



Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2003 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Lisa and other contributors. Lots of great ideas on encouragement!

I'm adding another post for you Lisa because when I read your post I got the sense that there was some underlying problem in the class that is not being mentioned which is causing discouragement.

I've been in situations where students are in misplaced levels or for one reason or another I have to teach something that is too difficult or too easy for my students, or simply not meeting their needs. No amount of positivity is going to cover this up if it is the case. Are you experiencing something like this? If so I recommend sharing your concerns with the school. Maybe the real solution is altering or adjusting the curriculum. If there is simply nothing that you can do about it through the administration I recommend being honest with your students about it and coming up with some collaborative solutions together.

Again, i don't know if this is what is going on in your case or not, but, generally, if students are not responding to encouragement there is going to be a reason that explains why they are discouraged. Simply offering more encouragement, in these cases, is not usually very effective. Good luck!
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