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Social Emotional Support for English Learners- Part 1

Social Emotional Support for English Learners- Part 1

As a school social worker, I have worked closely with English Learners.  I have naturally connected with many of these students because I was an English Learner myself.  I came to the United States with my mother in 1996 when I get 8 years old.  At a young age, I quickly learned that there would be barriers that I would have to overcome in order to adapt to a new environment.  Having parent support and encouragement along the way was the key to my success.  As a result, my experience has allowed me to meet the needs of many of my students and families.

SEL Support in Schools is a Family Affair for Us

My husband, Nicholas Metcalf and I share a similar vision and passion for supporting English Learners.  We collaborated on developing these blogs for SSWN that we will share this November:

Part 1- Introduction to SEL Support for English Learners

Part 2- English Learners from a classroom teacher perspective, and

Part 3- English Learners from a school social work perspective

Part 1:  Introduction to the need for SEL Support for English Learner Students

The population in the United States is projected to become more diverse over the next few years.  It is crucial that educators across the nation become more culturally competent and sensitive to the students’ background. The video below demonstrates what it may be like for an English Learner in a monolingual classroom.  Through this video, we hope that the idea of empathy can be highlighted as it is a key component to developing quality instruction.

In the following two articles, we will  share with SSWN readers resources and ideas in order to meet the needs of English Learners. Please post your reactions and strategies here, and consider joining us over at SSWNetwork (our social media workgroup platform) if you haven’t joined already at:

It’s free to join (no spam e-mails either, we promise!) and almost 1,000 SSW and related SEL professionals are there now–join us there to continue this important work we’re going to be sharing  in this special series.

Video by EAL Team SIS

More on Nicholas Metcalf: Currently teaches P.E/Health/Drivers Education at York High School, previously taught Special Education at Oswego East High School and self-contained special education at Willowbrook High School. His Bachelor’s degree is in Secondary Education with a focus in Kinesiology from Elmhurst College. Additionally, he has endorsements in Health and Driver Education from Chicago State University.  Two other endorsements as a Learning Behavior Specialist 1 and English as a Second Language from Roosevelt University.  Lastly, he is the head Wrestling Coach for York High School; he is a passionate educator who enjoys mentoring teens into becoming the best version of themselves by living a healthy lifestyle, as they are the next generation.

About The Author

Marjorie Colindres

I am a Bilingual Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working within school settings since 2012 with K-12 grade students in the Chicagoland area. Additionally, I work in a private practice setting with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and seniors. I also work part-time as an adjunct instructor at Loyola University Chicago and I teach School Social Work Practice and Policy. This year, 2019, I have assisted in coordinating the IASSW conference for professionals in the field of school social work. My Bachelor's degrees are in Spanish Literature and Psychology from Loyola University Chicago, Master’s degree in Social Work with a School Social Work Type 73 Professional Educator License from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Type 75 Professional Educator License with a General School Administrator Endorsement from Lewis University. As a school social worker, I personally enjoy being able to develop a positive relationship and empower my students to overcome challenging situations by identifying their strengths. My therapeutic style depends on the need of students as I use an eclectic approach (e.g., Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Task-Centered Practice, and Play Therapy).

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