Giving praise / feedback

Everyone likes praise; some teachers said that we need to give at least 5 praises per 1 adverse comment. If you record your class and you watch it later, paying attention to how many praise you used. What will you get?

Why giving praise is so important? In our classes we have teaching and learning objectives, the learning objectives are the goals that students have achieved, if we set a goal that isn’t attainable our learners will demotivate.

On the other hand if we divide the goals in «subgoals», those are manageable steps which are practised and rewarded separately.


In this graph we have a main goal which is divided in 4 tasks, student need to get the 3 first subgoals to reach the final goal. Every time learners reach a goal (or subgoal) they get praise, something to improve and the next goal.


Using the sandwich technique we give:

Something positive:

  • What have you done right? (Praise)

Something negative:

  • What do you need to improve? (Criticism)

Something positive:

  • What are you going to do next? (Challenging target)

In this way every student earns a medal, they have attainable goals because we have broken tasks down and now they are manageable steps, which are practised and rewarded separately.

When we recognise partial success, looking for something positive we are recognising the process as well as the product and it gives a feedback that helps to show the way student needs to follow.

Thus, we are clarifying before students attempt the next task, this is a formative assessment and also we are creating extrinsic motivation, I perform a task and I get a praise, now I know what I did right and what I need to improve. Also we are creating intrinsic motivation I want to see what I can reach in the next task, my next challenging target.

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