Incorporating social and emotional learning strategies among ESL speakers of higher education in Malaysia

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Marcia Jane Ganasan, Muhammad Noor Abdul Aziz, Marlina Jamal


Public speaking is a form of oratory performance presented among a group of audience. Most second language learners often struggle with language anxiety, particularly when placed in situations where they become the center of attention.  Emotions such as anxiety tend to cripple their communication. This study attempts to explore the challenges faced by second language learners in an institution of higher learning in Malaysia. The study employs the theory of Social and Emotional Learning Strategies (CASEL, 2019) to discover students' speaking anxieties. The study incorporates a qualitative approach using thematic analysis with a total of ten participants who were purposively selected to participate in this study. The findings of the study revealed that these learners are faced with incessant nervousness and fear when speaking in public. Exposure to Social and Emotional Learning Strategies has positively improved students’ oral communication through the incorporation of self-awareness, self-management, and responsible decision-making. The findings of this study are useful in assisting English language educators and curriculum designers in instilling social and emotional learning strategies among learners to alleviate negative emotions that stem from the fear of public speaking to bolster confidence among speakers of second language learners.

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