At Home Hints: Integrating SEL and Language Development

strategy tips May 07, 2020


In our March Monthly Tips we talked about using the Interactive Journal as a way to connect with students and build relationships even when we’re apart. This month we’re focusing on connecting remotely with our ELs to integrate SEL into our language development lessons. 

 During the past several months, social emotional learning (SEL) has taken on greater importance. For some, interacting with our students and creating a feeling of safety and security has been the primary focus of our online interactions, before we can dive back into academic content.  

 Use this as an opportunity to put aside your regular curriculum and find out what your students are interested in knowing more about. Are they interested in sports, music, current events, fashion, or animals? This connection of relevance is a great launching pad for language lessons.  

The Project GLAD® model advocates for a focus on strong oral language development to build a foundation for reading and writing.  

 We use the ELD review strategy to create leveled questions around the topics that your students are interested in to practice and build oral language fluency.  

 Here is a sample agenda for a 30-minute online interaction with a small group of English learners.  

  • Opener – start by introducing a response frame for the day that integrates SEL and language development. Everyone gets a turn practicing the frame and filling it in with their own thoughts. 

o   I wonder ____ 

o   I’m worried about_____ 

o   I’m thankful for_____ 

o   I’m interested in_____ 

  • Pictorial - Choose a topic for a mini lesson to build background. Teach this topic comprehensibly using a pictorial (as we discussed in last month's Monthly Tips). For example, you might be drawing a diagram and teaching the rules of soccer. 
  • ELD Review – Create ELD Review questions about soccer. ELD Review questions, sometimes called leveled questions, incorporate levels of language acquisition with depth of knowledge focused on a topic.  

The idea is for the teacher to target a question that the student can answer at their particular language proficiency level. Based on the student’s response, the teacher rewords subsequent questions to either add language scaffolding or add language challenge to move students along in their oral production. 

During this time of creating a new normal, see it as an opportunity to create relevance for students with what they learn while keeping their language skills on the right track. 

Cheering you on from home!  

Sara and Jody 


P.S. If you want more information about the ELD Review, it's the fourth strategy we cover in this spring's online GLAD® PD we're calling Acceleration! During this 6-week online PD we dive into 6 focus strategies chosen specifically to support planning and prepping at home! Clock hours available! Sign-up now!  



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