Model emotional literacy

Early years

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Model Emotional Literacy is the abbreviated name of the practice Teachers nurture emotional literacy in students by modelling, recognising, and responding to students’ expressed emotions.  

You play a key role in helping children to develop emotional literacy, which is the ability to identify, understand and respond to one’s emotions.

You can foster this ability by modelling how to express and regulate a variety of emotions.  

By also labelling feelings in appropriate situations, you:

  • expose students to a rich vocabulary for expressing feelings
  • assist students to understand when to express their emotions.  

Emotional literacy allows students to understand a range of:

  • needs
  • wants
  • likes
  • dislikes.

It also allows them to tell others how these affect their feelings.

This practice will help students to

talk about their feelings during everyday interactions

identify and express how they are feeling

This practice will help teachers to

extend student vocabulary

model behaviour

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This practice is from the core research project