How and Why Social Emotional Teaching Can Boost a Foreign Language Acquisition

By: Eti Zehavi
from Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School

Interdisciplinary Integration

Subject(s) of entry:
Ivrit, Social and Emotional Learning

Language Immersion, Social and Emotional Learning

Grade(s) to which this was taught:
4, 5, Elementary school, Middle school

Grade(s) for which this will be useful:
K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

In this entry you will read about a teaching method that came out of real needs seen in my classroom. The first need was to bring to life the Hebrew language as a medium for expression and communication inside and outside of the classroom. The second need was to create a safe and comfortable environment for students to express feelings and thoughts

Entry Narrative

This is an example of a Role Reversal in 5th grade. It is based on the book “Hayoman Shel Keren” from the 5th grade Tal Am program.

The story is about the loss of 5th grade against 4th grade in a basketball game. Yossi blamed Keren for the loss. Keren expresses herself and then Yossi, then they switch to repeat what the other said and show that they understand the other point of view. Eventually they came up with a solution.

This is another Role Reversal demonstration in 4th grade. It’s based on the book “Klaley Hanimusim shel Hakitah Hameuchedet”

In this book students learn about rules of manners in class.

Role reversal by two 4th graders. Same topic. They are arguing over who should clean the classroom, the class monitor or the students.

First, each says his point of view,then they switch to repeat what they heard. The next step is to think about a solution.

You can see how engaged are the kids in this demonstration. In addition they learned a skill for life.

This is a demonstration of a circle. Students in 4th grade tell how they feel today using colors in Hebrew.




Entrant Bio(s)

A lifelong learner, inspirational teacher and public speaker. I have a Masters in Counselor Education and 28 years experience teaching foreign languages in Israel and in California. In Israel, I was a General Studies teacher and an Arabic teacher for 4th -6th grade. I have been teaching Hebrew and Jewish Studies in California since 1995. In addition, I’m a 6th grade advisor, and a psychodrama facilitator in San Jose State University.

I designed and developed the Hebrew language program at Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School as well as hired and trained the school’s Hebrew teachers (2005-2011)

In March, 2012, I was a presenter at the CLTA Conference (California Language Teachers Association)

Over the years, I have also been a presenter to the Board of Directors at Hausner to introduce new language programs. Head of School Dr. Gerry Elgarten noted,
“...Your outline of what are we do in Hebrew, discussing methods of teaching and curriculum, was clear and delivered with enthusiasm. It is no surprise that our Hebrew teachers are so enthusiastic about teaching after listening to your presentation.”