Why SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) is Essential for ELLs

When considering language acquisition, anxiety, stress and self-consciousness can become major roadblocks for ELL students. When a student’s affective filter is crowded with these distractions, the ability to focus on instruction becomes a challenge. Frustration, low-motivation, and boredom often follow exponentially.

While there are many accommodations and strategies teachers can employ to help lower the affective filter, SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) activities can also contribute to the effort. Students require safety and comfort in the classroom, but also the social tools to successfully interact with their peers and the regulatory mechanisms to check in on their own well-being.

“Social and emotional skills taught in classrooms often include skills such as kindness, empathy, gratitude, resilience and fairness. While all students can benefit from instruction in what these skills look like, English learners in particular will need support in what the skills sound like, including the words and phrases that exemplify the particular skill. Cultural considerations should also be discussed, as the particular skill may manifest in different ways in different cultures, especially in terms of how people appropriately react to them, and the gestures and body language associated with the skills.”

Excerpt quote and photo credit go to: multibriefs.com

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