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SEL and English Language Learners


Starting a new school year can be stressful, but that stress is amplified for students who are learning English as a second language (ESL). According to the NEA, by 2025, 1 out of 4 children in classrooms across the nation will be an English language learner (ELL). As these students transition to a new language, social emotional learning (SEL) can provide significant benefits by addressing their emotional and social needs. These benefits include:

Enhanced Language Development

SEL activities often involve group discussions, collaboration, and communication. These provide ELL students with opportunities to practice and improve their language skills in a supportive and non-threatening environment.

Reduced Anxiety and Stress

Learning a new language can be overwhelming for ELL students. SEL programs help students develop emotional intelligence, resilience, and coping strategies that can help manage anxiety and stress, which, in turn, can positively affect their language learning experience.

Improved Social Skills

SEL promotes the development of social skills, such as active listening, empathy, and effective communication. ELL students can benefit from these skills as they navigate language barriers and interact with peers and teachers in the classroom.

Increased Self-Confidence

SEL programs focus on building self-esteem and self-confidence. When ELL students have confidence in themselves, they are more likely to participate in class, ask questions, and take risks in using the new language.  

Cultural Awareness and Inclusivity

SEL often includes discussions about cultural diversity and inclusivity. This can help ELL students feel valued and respected for their cultural backgrounds and foster a more inclusive and supportive learning environment.  

Emotional Regulation

ELL students may experience frustration and negative emotions as they struggle with language barriers. SEL teaches them strategies to manage these emotions, which can lead to better focus and engagement in language learning.  

Conflict Resolution

Learning a new language can sometimes lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. SEL programs teach students how to resolve conflicts peacefully and effectively, which can improve their social interactions both inside and outside the classroom.  

Academic Performance

The emotional well-being and social skills developed through SEL can have a positive impact on academic performance for ELL students. When they feel emotionally secure and socially connected, they are often better able to concentrate on their studies.  

Long-Term Success

SEL equips ELL students with lifelong skills that extend beyond the classroom. These skills can contribute to their success not only in language acquisition but also in their personal and professional lives.

SEL can benefit ELL students by addressing their emotional and social needs, creating a more supportive and inclusive learning environment, and improving the language acquisition process. Integrating SEL into language learning programs can help ELL students develop language proficiency and become well-rounded individuals with strong emotional intelligence and social skills. 

School Day is the best K-12 solution for measuring and managing student well-being and social-emotional skills and  the best tool for district leaders and teachers to proactively lead well-being in the classroom to improve learning results. School Day asks students weekly questions that focus on learning, social relationships, and health. The data is analyzed, furnishing real-time insight and highlighting what's going well; resources are provided for the areas that need more attention. Request a quote for your school today

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