Lucille D. Saraspe, Ferdinand T. Abocejo


This study determined the effectiveness of teacher’s descriptive praise on the English composition skill of bridging students in a privately run secondary education institution in Lapu-lapu City, Cebu, Philippines. It was carried out though a quasi-experimental research design with crossover. This research made use of two groups; one receiving detailed feedback through descriptive praise on a previously written essay, and another not receiving any. The first phase made use of one intact section acting as the control group and another intact section as the experimental group. The second phase was completed by crossing over the two groups. The intact section assigned to the control group during the first phase was assigned to the experimental group in the second phase, and the reverse for the other intact section group. The researchers employed descriptive and inferential statistics analyses of data collected from the students’ outputs. Analyses were focused on the pre-test and post-test English composition skill level of bridging students, the significant difference in the English composition skill levels in the pre-test and post-test and the significant improvement in the English composition skill levels of the students from pre-test to the post-test. This study was anchored on Feedback Intervention Theory advocated by Kluger and DeNisi and from the Law of Recency by Thorndike. Findings revealed that a bridging student may improve his English composition skill even without the use of descriptive praise as this type of feedback intervention improved the bridging student’s English compositions skill only as far as the basic level. It is concluded that the use of descriptive praise alone in effecting improvement on the students’ English composition skill is not adequate. The authors hereby suggest the application of other forms of feedback interventions such as mediated learning opportunities, careful scaffolding, corrective information or even computer-provided feedback mechanism.


descriptive praise, feedback intervention, English compositions skill, bridging students, feedback intervention theory, law of recency

Full Text:



Abocejo, F. T., & Padua, R. N. (2010). An econometric model for determining sustainability of basic education development. CNU Journal of Higher Education. 4(1), 40-53. Retrieved from http://www.jhe.cnu.edu.ph/index.php/cnujhe/ article/view/39

Akalin, S., & Sucuoglu, B. (2015). Effects of classroom management intervention based on teacher training and performance feedback on outcomes of teacher-student dyads in inclusive classrooms. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 15(3), 739-758. doi: 10.12738/estp.2015.3.2543

Baleghizadeh, S., & Dadashi, M. (2011). The effect of direct and indirect corrective feedback on students' spelling errors. Profile, 13(1), 129-137. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1677626694?accountid=141440

Bitchener, J. & Knoch, U. (2010). The contribution of written corrective feedback to language development: a ten month investigation. Applied linguistics, 31: 193–214. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/applij/article-abstract/31/2/193/177926/The-Contribu tion-of-Written-Corrective-Feedback-to

Briere, D. E., Simonsen, B., Sugai, G., & Myers, D. (2015). Increasing new teachers’ specific praise using a within-school consultation intervention. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 17(1), 50-60. doi: 10.1177/1098300713497098

Cavanaugh, B. (2013). Performance feedback and teachers' use of praise and opportunities to respond: A review of the literature. Education & Treatment of Children, 36(1), 111-137. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1312445557?accountid =141440

Chan, J. C. Y., & Lam, S. (2010). Effects of different evaluative feedback on students ‘self-efficacy in learning. Instructional Science, 38(1), 37-58. doi:

Dean-Rumsey, Theresa A. (2014). Improving the writing skills of at-risk students through the use of writing across the curriculum and writing process instruction. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir =1&article=1487&context=theses

Defazio, J., Jones, J., Tennant, F., & Hook, S. A. (2010). Academic literacy: The importance and impact of writing across the curriculum – a case study. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 10(2), 34-47. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ890711.pdf

Dozier, C. L., Iwata, B. A., Thomason‐Sassi, J., Worsdell, A. S., & Wilson, D. M. (2012). A comparison of two pairing procedures to establish praise as a reinforcer. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 45(4), 721-735. doi: 10.1901/jaba.2012.45-721

Fernandez, R. C. C., & Abocejo, F. T. (2014). Child labor, poverty and school attendance: Evidences from the Philippines by region. CNU Journal of Higher Education. 8(1), 114-127. Retrieved from http://www.jhe.cnu.edu.ph/index.php/cnujhe/article/ view/151

Ferris, D., Liu, H., Sinha, A. & Senna, M. (2013). Written corrective feedback for individual L2 writers. Journal of Second Language Writing, 2, 307–29. Retrieved from https://sites.grenadine.uqam.ca/sites/melt/fr/edition2017/items/44

Giesen, C. G., Schmidt, J. R., & Rothermund, K. (2020). The law of recency: An episodic stimulus-response retrieval account of habit acquisition. Frontiers in Psychology, 10(2927), 1-17. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02927

Graham, S., MacArthur, C. A., & Fitzgerald, J. (Eds.). (2013). Best practices in writing instruction. New York: Guilford Press. Retrieved from https://www.guilford.com/excerpts/graham.pdf

Hatziapostolou, T., & Paraskakis, I. (2010). Enhancing the impact of formative feedback on student learning through an online feedback system. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 8(2), 111-122. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ895699

Hawkins, S. M., & Heflin, J. L. (2011). Increasing secondary teachers’ behavior-specific praise using a video self-modeling and visual performance feedback intervention. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 13(2), 97–108. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

Helwa, H. S. A. A. (2014). The effectiveness of a program based on the combination of relevance and confidence motivational strategies in developing EFL argumentative writing skills and overcoming writing apprehension among students’ teachers at faculty of education. Online Submission. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED545646.pdf

Higgins, R., Hartley, P. & Skelton, A. (2010). The conscientious consumer: reconsidering the role of assessment feedback in student learning, Studies in Higher Education, 27(1), 53-64. Retrieved from http://nitromart.co.uk/jem/docs/tt/assessment% 20feedback%20on%20 student%20learning%20journal%20article.pdf

Hyland, K. (2013). Student perceptions of hidden messages in teacher written feedback. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 39(3): 180–7. Retrieved from https://hub.hku.hk/bitstream/10722/199627/1/Content.pdf

Jolejole-Caube, C., Dumlao, A. B., & Abocejo, F. T. (2019). Anxiety Towards Mathematics and Mathematics Performance of Grade 7 Learners. European Journal of Education Studies. 6(1), 334-360 doi: 10.5281/zenodo.2694050

Kimonis, E. R., Ogg, J., & Fefer, S. (2014). The relevance of callous-unemotional traits to working with youth with conduct problems. Bethesda. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1510294267?accountid=141440

Kinder, K. A. (2010). Comparing the effects of descriptive comments versus descriptive comments plus prompted trials on children's letter naming (Order No. 3442189). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/851890231?accountid= 141440

Kluger, A. N., & DeNisi, A. (1996). The effects of feedback interventions on performance: A historical review, a meta-analysis, and a preliminary feedback intervention theory. Psychological Bulletin, 119(2), 254–284. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.119.2.254

Luczynski, K. C., Hanley, G. P., & Rodriguez, N. M. (2014). An evaluation of the generalization and maintenance of functional communication and self-control skills with preschoolers. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 47(2), 246-63. doi: 10.1002/jaba.128

Major, Claire Howell, Harris, Michael S., Zakrajsek, Todd. (2016). Teaching for learning: 101 intentionally designed educational activities to put students on the path to success. New York: Taylor & Francis. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Learning-Intentionally-EducationalActivities/dp/0415699363

McDuffie, A., Oakes, A., Machalicek, W., Ma, M., Bullard, L., Nelson, S., & Abbeduto, L. (2016). Early language intervention using distance video-teleconferencing: A pilot study of young boys with fragile X syndrome and their mothers. American Journal of Speech - Language Pathology (Online), 25(1), 46-66. doi: 10.1044/2015_AJSLP14-0137

Meerah, T. S. M., & Halim, L. (2011). Improve feedback on teaching and learning at the university through peer group. Procedia – Social and Behavioural Sciences, 18, 633-637. Retrieved from www.sciencedirect.com/sciencearticle/pii/S18770428 11012067

Moilanen, K. L., Shaw, D. S., & Fitzpatrick, A. (2010). Self-regulation in early adolescence: Relations with mother-son relationship quality and maternal regulatory support and antagonism. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39(11), 1357-67. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/755999987?accountid=141440

Myers, D. M., Simonsen, B., & Sugai, G. (2011). Increasing teachers' use of praise with a response-to-intervention approach. Education and Treatment of Children, 34(1), 35-59. doi: 10.1353/etc.2011.0004

Nelson, J. A. P., Young, B. J., Young, E. L., & Cox, G. (2010). Using teacher-written praise notes to promote a positive environment in a middle school. Preventing School Failure, 54(2), 119-125. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/ 603227825?account id=141440

Nematzadeh, F., & Siahpoosh, H. (2017). The effect of teacher direct and indirect feedback on Iranian intermediate EFL learners’ written performance. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Learning, 3(5): 110-116. doi: 10.5923/j.jalll.20170305.02

Partin, T. C. M., Robertson, R. E., Maggin, D. M., Oliver, R. M., & Wehby, J. H. (2010). Using teacher praise and opportunities to respond to promote appropriate student behavior. Preventing School Failure, 54(3), 172-178. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/741448218?accountid=141440

Pauli, C. (2010). Fostering understanding and thinking in discursive cultures of learning. Unpublished paper presented at the meeting of EARLI SIG 10 and SIG 21, Utrecht, the Netherlands. Retrieved from http://www.vfconsult.nl/wp-content/uploads/ 2012/09/tatefrequencies-Voerman-et-al.pdf

Peloghitis, J. (2010). The effects of form-focused feedback on quality of writing and performance on accuracy. Retrieved from http://ci.nii.ac.jp/els/contentscinii_20170713181514. pdf? id=ART0009408989

Pinter, E. B., East, A., & Thrush, N. (2015). Effects of a video-feedback intervention on teachers' use of praise. Education & Treatment of Children, 38(4), 451-472. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1734844726?accountid=141440

Polick, A. S., Carr, J. E., & Hanney, N. M. (2012). A comparison of general and descriptive praise in teaching intraverbal behavior to children with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 45(3), 593-9. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1269079204?accountid=141440

Rathel, J. M., Drasgow, E., Brown, W. H., & Marshall, K. J. (2013). Increasing induction-level teachers’ positive-to-negative communication ratio and use of behavior-specific praise through e-mailed performance feedback and its effect on students’ task engagement. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 16, 219–233. doi: 10.1177/1098300713492856

Rodriguez, K. F. R., & Abocejo, F. T. (2018). Competence vis-à-vis performance of special education pre-service teachers. European Academic Research. 6(7), 3474-3498. Retrieved from http://www.euacademic.org/UploadArticle/3707.pdf

Schartel, S. A. (2012). Giving feedback – an integral part of education. Best Practice and Research Clinical Anaesthesiology, 26(1), 77-87. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/224912514_Giving_feedback_An_integral_part_of_education

Solomon, B. G., Klein, S. A., & Politylo, B. C. (2012). The effect of performance feedback on teachers' treatment integrity: A meta-analysis of the single-case literature. School Psychology Review, 41(2), 160-175. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1022331899?accountid=141440

Spilt, J. L., Leflot, G., Onghena, P., & Colpin, H. (2016). Use of praise and reprimands as critical ingredients of teacher behavior management: Effects on children's development in the context of a teacher-mediated classroom intervention. Prevention Science, 17(6), 732-742. doi: 10.1007/s11121-016-0667-y

Sprick, R., Knight, J., Reinke, W., Skyles, T., & Barnes, L. (2010). Coaching classroom management: Strategies and tools for administrators and coaches. Eugene, OR: Pacific Northwest Publishing. Retrieved from http://www.kansasmtss.org/pdf/Sympo sium/2013Sym posium/Sprick%20Thursday.pdf

Stout, D. E., & Sorensen, J. E. (2015). Write right: Improving written communication skills-part one. Management Accounting Quarterly, 16(4), 1-11. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1773044078?accountid=141440

Sugai, G., Horner, R., Algozzine, R., Barrett, S., Lewis, T., Anderson, C., Bradley, R., Simonsen, B. (2010). Schoolwide positive behavior support: Implementers’ blueprint and self-assessment. Eugene, OR: University of Oregon. Retrieved from https://www.osepideasthatwork.org/sites/default/files/SchoolwideBehaviorSupport.pdf

Tom, A. A. (2013). Students’ perception and preferences of written feedback in academic writing. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences. Retrieved on from http://www.mcser.org/journal/index.php/mjss/article/viewFile/1271/1300

Trazo, S. P., & Abocejo, F. T. (2019). International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) Front Vowel Sound Recognition of Beginner Foreign Learners. European Journal of Education Studies, 5(12), 183-196. doi: 10.5281/zenodo.2606194

University of Reading. (2010). Providing feedback to students on their performance. Guide to Policy and Procedures for Teaching and Learning, University of Reading, 24. Retrieved from www.reading.ac.uk/web/files/qualitysupport/feedbacktostudent s.pdf

Voerman, L., Meijer, P. C., Korthagen, F. A. J., & Simons, R. J. (2012). Types and frequencies of feedback interventions in classroom interaction in secondary education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(1), 1107-1115, doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2012.06.006

Vyncke, M. (2012). The concept and practice of critical thinking in academic writing: An investigation of international students’ perceptions and writing experiences. Retrieved from https://englishagenda.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/filefieldpaths/mvyn cke_0_1.pdf

Westmacott, A. (2017). Direct vs. indirect written corrective feedback: Student perceptions. Íkala, 22(1), 17-32. doi: 10.17533/udea.ikala.v22n01a02

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejel.v5i4.3140


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright © 2015. European Journal of English Language Teaching (ISSN 2501-7136) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing GroupAll rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms.

All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).