In one of my favorite speeches from Mawi, he talks about the social stigma he faced as a student because of cultural differences.
Many ELL students may find themselves socially isolated or ostracized due to their differences in language, culture and interpersonal communication. Yet, one of the quickest ways to learn a language is through social language, or the language of everyday life between peers.
Here are a few suggestions to increase social success in ELL students:
1. There are many different social norms across cultures. As an ELL educator it is important to understand these differences and help your students be successful in interpersonal interactions. You can help improve these interactions such as eye contact, personal space and speaking volume through explaining, demonstrating and explaining socially acceptable practices.
2. Augment the resources available to you including videos, books, games, software, etc. This variety of mediums allows students to observe peer behaviors in a low-pressure environment.
3. Practice, practice, practice. A few ways to increase the amount of social interaction with peers include:
-Encourage students to get involved in extracurricular activities.
-Implement a rule of greeting teachers and peers.
-Strategically pair ELL students together in small group activities.
What strategies have worked for increasing student social success in your class? Please share in the comments!