How SEL Can Help ELL

The United States prides itself on being a melting pot of cultures and diverse individuals. With so many people coming from different parts of the world, the English Language Learners (ELL) population in schools has never been higher. According to the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics), there were approximately 5.1 million ELLs nationwide in 2019. 

While programs are available to help students who identify as English Language Learners, barriers to learning often exist in this population. In addition to limited understanding of English, ELL students come from different cultural backgrounds and have vastly different living situations, even in the U.S. This makes it harder for teachers to understand and address ELL students’ needs. For English Language Learners, this can occasionally translate to poor academic performance, and in some cases ELL students become victims of bullying.   

While each individual’s circumstance is different, many English Language Learners face other stressors and anxiety-inducing situations that can alter their ability to learn a new language and prosper academically. For example, moving to a new country, caring for younger siblings, dealing with trauma, and dealing with family separation are some of the challenges they face. In Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition, Professor Stephen D. Krashen notes the importance of reducing anxiety in English Language Learners to assist in the retention of the new language. This is where social emotional learning (SEL) can help.

How Can Social Emotional Learning Help?

According to CASEL (Collaborative for Academics, Social, and Emotional Learning), SEL is defined as:

“an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.” 

In other words, social emotional learning provides essential life skills to prepare students for success inside and outside of the classroom. The research and the evidence consistently support that definition and demonstrate the benefits that SEL has on students. It is proven that students participating in a good SEL program can develop skills to better cope with emotions such as stress and anxiety. It can help them cope with difficult family situations and peer-to-peer relationships. And for English Language Learners this means learning life skills that can help them cope with many of the challenges they are facing, allowing them to do better academically. In addition, by implementing SEL in the classroom, English Language Learners can develop self-efficacy, confidence, motivation, and boosts their relationship with their teachers and peers. 

An SEL Program Your English Language Learners Can Count On

Having a good SEL program is the key to having a successful outcome when it comes to gaining the benefits mentioned above. Our clinically developed program provides students and educators with the opportunity to adopt, and implement, a social emotional learning program focused on mental health and providing students with the necessary life skills to promote student success. Examples include:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Coping Strategies
  • Diversity
  • Bullying and Cyberbullying
  • Resilience
  • To see our full module list click HERE

Your ELL students can count on a program that will benefit them academically and in life. 

The Research and Data are Clear

The research and the data are clear, a good SEL program is beneficial to all students–and in some cases even more so for English Language Learners. The correlation between a student being in the right emotional mindset and positive learning outcomes is overwhelmingly clear. The more relaxed and anxious-free an ELL student is, the better they will retain all of the new information being shared with them. 

If you would like to learn more about BASE Education and how we can help you and your ELL students contact us today!


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