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Reward Systems


WRITTEN BYRaegina Taylor   

What is it?

A reward system is used to motivate students and monitor student progress. It is hard copy evidence to the students of their progress and can be used as a kind of souvenir of English class. It’s something that isn’t done in any other subject area so it makes English more fun and interesting to students!

Activity Objectives:

  • Assists with awareness about specific topics: world, people, events etc.
  • Students are motivated to improve their work to get the next level.
  • Assessment form - the passports at my school are used as part of the student grades.



  • Sticker Sheets:  Students fill up the sheets and keep them as keepsake. There is no long-term goal here, other than to get the new sheet. There are heaps available online through sites like MES-English or you can check out Englipedia's Point Card page. You can make the stickers for the point cards by printing color copies of the points out on A4 label sheets or simply giving the stickers to the students and have them affix them via glue to their point cards.  
  • Passport:  I implemented this in my schools last year and it surprisingly took off. In my school we have a map of the places the passport covers, and a tally of how many students have reached each level. When students finish a passport, they can travel ‘back’ to their original destination. Points are awarded for students who try hard- not just the winners or students who always finish first. Points in the system are awarded for effort.
    Points can be stickers, stamps or anything you want. I use the plain stickers from the 100-yen shop. They are cheap and you get loads so you can hand them out like candy. Only 50 kids in my school finished their passports this year, but all the kids tried really hard. I think also my teachers were unclear as to when to hand out the points - it is a new system to get used to!
    You could also do passports for countries, or what I would have loved to have done if I had the time, was world events and famous people. Maybe have students travel around to different parts of the world for different events, like: Eurovision, New Years festival, Full Moon Party etc. Every year, change the theme to make it interesting for the students who did the system the previous year. Passports mean the students can see what they have achieved and where they are aiming for. They are logs of effort and learning - not logs of ability like a graded report.

Preparation & Planning
You will need to get the support of your other teachers to make this effective. Have a specific time frame for the rewards to run; 6 months or a year. Also you could have prizes for students who finish their goals. I handed out souvenirs to the first boy and girl of each class who finished; a great way to get rid of the stuff I lugged over!


For the passports attached, it is quite easy but takes a couple of hours of initial preparation. Photocopy pages 1-2; 3-4; 5-6 back to back, cut in half and staple together. Print out the sticker pages and cut them up. You can either buy sticker paper, or just glue them into the passports.


I bought the map from the 100-yen shop and stuck the pictures around to show kids where their ‘next stop’ was going to be.


For the tally board, I used whiteboard sticker paper from the 100-yen shop and stuck it on the paper. This way I could change the tally every week.
The time consuming part is putting the stickers in the passports. I cut them up before hand to save time. Last year the passports also had a place for my hanko and the destinations were hand written - needless to say this was all very time consuming! I simplified it this year, but have attached both copies so you can choose or change as you wish!

Out of all the things I have tried to do to make English more real and interesting for my students, this was the most effective. At times I walk around the school and hand out points to kids who stop to talk to me in the corridor in English. Maybe it was bribery, but after a while I stopped handing out the points and the kids just kept coming. I highly recommend implementing a reward system to maintain interest from students, but also to give them something tangible to have that represents English classes to them.



This page was last modified on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 10:15:38 AM