Social-Emotional Learning for Young Learners

How to develop well-rounded learners.

David Weller
5 min readNov 4, 2023


There are so many approaches to teaching, it can feel overwhelming.

Which methodology do you use? Do you go with present, practice, produce, or task-based learning? But once you’ve decided on how to teach, and develop proficiency, you start to wonder if there’s more to learning and teaching.

For the first few years I taught, I only focused on the basics — classroom and behaviour management and making sure learners met the ‘can do’ statements.

As I developed more tools for teaching, it allowed me to spend more time focusing on individuals in the classroom, build rapport, and allow to differentiate my teaching to personalise support.

Finally, I reached a point where I started asking questions about how I could help my students develop, not just linguistically, but holistically.

This is where socio-emotional learning comes in.

What is Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)?

SEL focuses on five core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Acquiring these skills can help your students develop as people, not just as learners. A 2017



David Weller

Lessons, stories and visuals to develop your language teaching and learning. 20 years in education, 3 books, and a twice-monthly newsletter.