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Motivational and Positive Language. Encouraging and persuading pupils with behavioural difficulties to stay on task…. Why positive language?. Because of the nature of the pupils in consideration here – they often feel that the brunt of the language directed towards them is negative.

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motivational and positive language

Motivational and Positive Language

Encouraging and persuading pupils with behavioural difficulties to stay on task…

why positive language
Why positive language?
  • Because of the nature of the pupils in consideration here – they often feel that the brunt of the language directed towards them is negative.
  • This will likely make them feel negative themselves… leading to more negative behaviour “What’s the point?” etc.
non verbal cues and body language
Non-Verbal Cues and Body Language
  • When a pupil begins to become disengaged, use small non-verbal clues (visual reminders, facial expressions) to show them their behaviour is inappropriate.
  • This will lessen the chance of them feeling ‘nagged at’.
i need you to
I need you to…
  • Focus on what you want them to do rather than the negative…
  • Instead of “Stop flinging rubbers across the room”, bring them back to the task “You need to be writing the date”.
  • Also – comment on what other pupils are doing…”Well done _____ you’ve nearly got that finished”.
language of choice
Language of Choice…
  • Let the pupil think they have a choice and they’re making the decisions…
  • For example, by saying “If you don’t stop you’ll get a detention” they’ve lost both ways…they can either ignore the demand and encourage further conflict or accede to the demand and feel they’ve lost the battle.
  • By saying…”If you choose to…… again you’ll receive a further warning, make a better choice please”.
  • This gives the pupil the chance to redeem themselves without losing face and minimises the chance for pupil to feel they have ‘lost’.
specific praise
Specific Praise
  • When praising a pupil for making the correct choice or doing something well make it clear to them exactly what they have done.
  • “Well done, you made the correct choice by…”
  • Give the pupil the chance to make the right choice by reducing the stakes…
  • Minimising the expectations of the task…allow them to explain verbally for example rather than in written form.
  • Give the pupil a ‘break’ for five minutes before they need to return to work.
  • Assure them they will receive help/support to complete the work.
use reflective listening
Use reflective listening…
  • Sometimes it is frustrating because you feel a pupil is deliberately being difficult/annoying etc. and they feel the same about the adult!
  • If you show you at least understand how they are feeling (even if you don’t agree with what they’re doing)… they are more likely to be responsive.
label the behaviour not the pupil
Label the behaviour not the pupil…
  • It isn’t ‘Adam’ that is annoying you/causing problems/in the wrong, it is what he/she is doing.
  • Avoid prefixing negatives with the pupils’ name, for example “Adam… bullying is wrong”.
  • “Bullying is not something we tolerate Adam” would avoid lowering self-esteem and feeling victimised.
return to the positive
Return to the positive…
  • Remind a pupil how they felt when they received praise or did something positive. “Don’t you remember how you felt when you did ____ really well?”
  • Ensure them that you know they ARE capable of making the correct choices.
  • Build self-esteem “I know you’re good at this”.
remain calm
Remain calm…
  • Sometimes it’s easy to get into an ‘argument’ or negative dialogue with a pupil – use short statements “You need to sit down and get on thank you” and don’t allow them to argue.
  • Avoid letting them ‘drag you down’… if you feel like this is going to happen seek support from another adult.
  • Give them a final choice “You can either make the correct choice or I’ll have to take this further with ______”.