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Actualizado: 14 nov 2022

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is said to be part of any human development and part of education. Social emotional learning is defined as the process of obtaining and applying knowledge, attitudes, and skills to manage emotions, maintain positive relationships, as well as feel, and show empathy. As teachers we are concerned with the idea of teaching and learning attitudes towards any subject.

It is of extremely importance to know that Social and Emotional Learning can be divided

into 5 important sub-components represented in the picture below as it follows:

  1. Self-Management

  2. Self-Awareness

  3. Responsible Decision-Making

  4. Relationship Skills

  5. Social Awareness

Retrieved from Buffalo County Community Partners Behavioral Health, 2019.

Video link:The Impact of Social and Emotional Learning

Sometimes it seems difficult to work with specific techniques in the classroom that enable learners to effectively communicate with peers and classmates or make them capable of being empathetic to others. What’s more, to positively influence classroom climate is by means of transforming the classroom into more learner-centered and integrating one of the approaches of the new era called Cooperative Language Learning (CLL) to achieve better relationship skills among students. The methods mostly used by teachers are in the way they can influence positively in students’ towards learning a foreign language, or any subject.

Cooperative Language Learning (CLL) enables learners to work under conditions of peer tutoring and peer monitoring. In fact, this approach is viewed as a learner-centered approach to teaching. According to Richards and Rodgers, 2001, the main goals of Cooperative Language Learning are:

  • To provide opportunities for naturalistic second language acquisition by means of using interactive and group activities.

  • To provide opportunities for learners to develop successful learning and communication strategies.

  • To enhance learner motivation and reduce learner stress and to create a positive affective classroom climate.

Furthermore, Olsen and Kagan (1992, as cited in Richards and Rodgers, 2001) propose the following essential elements of successful group-based learning in CL:

Positive interdependence: Group members feel what helps one member helps all. (By building a spirit of mutual support within the group).

  • Group formation: Deciding the size of the group and assigning students to groups.

  • Individual accountability: Group and individual performance

  • Social skills: The way in which students interact with each other as teammates. (Explicit instruction is needed to guarantee successful interaction)

  • Structuring and structures: Ways of organizing student interaction (different ways students interact).

Implementation in the Classroom: Types of activities within the classroom

There are many ways in which we can promote a positive affective classroom climate. It is suggested that groups can be made between 2 to 4 people because having more students into a group can cause some disadvantages not only in the development of the lesson, but also in the management of the class while separating students.

Olsen and Kagan 1992:88 as cited in Richards and Rodgers, propose the following examples of CLL activities (2001, p. 198-199):

  • Three Step Interview: In this activity, students are in pairs, one takes the role of interviewer and the other is interviewee, Then, students reverse roles. Each student shares with team members what was learned during the two interviews.

  • Roundtable: There is one piece of paper and one pen for each team. One student contributes and passes the paper and pen to the student of his/her left or right. Each student makes contributions in turn. If this activity is made orally, it is called Round Robin.

  • Think-Pair-Share: Teacher poses a question, students think of a response, students discuss responses with a partner, and finally, students share their partner’s response to the class.

Solve-Pair-Share: Teacher poses a problem. Students work out solutions individually. Students explain how they solved the problem in Interview or Round Robin.

  • Numbered heads: Students number off in teams. Teacher asks a question. Heads together- students literally put their heads together and make sure everyone knows and can explain the answer. Teacher calls a number and students with that number raise their hands to be called on.

Additional activities:

1. The Jigsaw Method:

2. Running dictation:

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