Sonali Priyadarsini Sahoo of The English and Foreign Languages University in India presented on 'Moving towards a culturally responsive learning experience for the whole child through social-emotional learning in ESL classrooms' at the annual Future of English Language Teaching Conference (FOELT) in June 2021.
Even amidst the exceptional expansion of scientific and technological advancements in the 21st century, the increasing rate of mental health issues , interpersonal violence; lack of skills required to meet the demands of the new age economy in young learners indicate the dehumanizing nature of the existing education system. When it comes to a Second Language Learning classroom, the individual cultural repertoire of the learners are pushed to the corner in the attempt to highlight the target language culture. And it creates a major gap between the learners’ real life experiences and the learning expectations outlined by the curriculum. It fails to address the most crucial goal of education i.e. preparing the learners as sensible and compassionate human beings who are capable of peaceful co-existence and open to the innovative possibilities of progress. A language classroom being a potential space for healthy intercultural exchange, and honing learners’ perception towards the world, it is vital to bring a framework which is culturally-responsive for them. Social-Emotional Learning framework with its focus on both individual as well as the social dimension of human personality makes it possible to acknowledge and explore the multilayered identities of the learners. This talk aims to explore how the Social-Emotional Learning could be a potential framework to make the ESL classrooms more culturally responsive for the learners. The study is based in the Indian context and in its preliminary stage of exploration at present.
Keywords: Social-Emotional Learning, Culturally-Responsive Learning, ESL , SLL