Does Praising Intelligence Improve Achievements? An ESL Case

Rahima Sayed Sulaiman Akbar, Nada Al-Gharabally


Praising is considered to have a positive effect on learners’ motivations. Yet, what to praise and how to praise is an issue of controversy. The present study looks at the effect of praising ESL learners’ writing efforts in English as opposed to evaluating their writing abilities in order to test Dweck (2007) theory of praising intelligence or effort. The investigation is based on a set of language parameters used in conventional evaluation of ESL writing pieces.

Forty adult English L2 learners at the women’s College of Basic Education, English Department, who were enrolled in writing classes comprised the study’s experimental and control groups. The study’s findings indicate that praising the effort increases the learners’ motivation and creates a relaxed teaching and learning environment.

The present study highlights the importance of incorporating the praise of a student’s effort within the grading. Since grading plays a motivating factor on how well the learners’ work progresses, it follows that it should strategically place importance on the teacher’s feedback as well as clear instructions for improvement.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 International Journal of Higher Education

International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.