Strategies for teachers: understanding emotions.
Identifying our own emotions is indispensable to carry out effective actions and thoughts in different situations. The use of stories in teaching children identifying and handling their emotions is a valuable resource at early ages.
Another way to develop empathy and awareness of other people´s feelings is through basic English descriptions in which children focus on positive features of their classmates.
In Howards Gardner´s words, Emotional intelligence refers to how well we handle ourselves and our relationships, the 4 domains:
Self-awareness, knowing what we’re feeling, why we’re feeling it, which is a basis of, for example, good intuition, good decision-making.
It’s a moral compass, in part, is self-management, which means handling your distressing emotions in effective ways so that they don’t cripple you, they don’t get in the way of what you’re doing, and yet, attuning them.
Every emotion has a function. Also, positive emotions, getting ourselves, you know, involved, enthused about what we’re doing, aligning our actions with our passions.
The third is empathy, knowing what someone else is feeling.
And the fourth is putting that altogether in skilled relationship.
Story by Anne Hilde Vassbø Hagen
Some outstanding aspects we can cover from the FL area may be related to varied aspects of emotional intelligence, or talents. Lynn (2000) proposes a practical framework to develop mainly:
Self-Awareness and Control refers to two separate skills. The self-awareness component, which demands intimate and accurate knowledge of one’s self and one’s emotions; and the self-control component, where control of both positive and negative emotions is essential.
Empathy requires understanding how others feel about a particular set of events or circumstances.
Social expertness, as the ability to build genuine relationships and bonds with others.
Personal influence or the ability to inspire others through example, words, and deeds.
In developing emotional intelligence, the teacher/coach role acquires special relevance, especially when the classroom actions take place in a foreign language. Nevertheless, at the same time the communicative nature of the main goal in FLT facilitates the creation of a vast array of learning scenarios. Thus, through songs, stories, guided role plays, simulations or games, we can help children discover their emotions and handle them according to different situations. This is indeed a passionate challenge. In further posts we shall deepen into specific resources to work different emotions.
“50 Activities for Developing Emotional Intelligence”. B. Lynn, A.. HRD Press, Inc. • Amherst • Massachusetts. 2000
“Innovative Pedagogy. A Recognition of Emotions and Creativity in Education”. CREATIVE EDUCATION BOOK SERIES. Tatiana Chemi, Sarah Grams Davy and Birthe Lund (Eds). Sense publishers. 2017