Outdoor ESL Activities in Lockdown

 In Emotional Intelligence in ESL classrooms



It is known by all what the benefits of reading are not only to improve your writing skills and build up vocabulary in L2 but also to let your imagination fly to other places. Being at home may not be particularly enjoyable when one has been locked in confinement for months. So today’s activity is to read, read, read, and enjoy travelling to those places even if it is only in our imagination. 



And get away from Shutdown a little

Furthermore, the proposal for our online book club meeting is to be held outdoors in contact with Nature, which is one of the easiest practices within Mindfulness context to connect with the present moment so our mind focuses on now, not on past memories of the pandemic or future plans for a “new normal” kind of life. One very simple technique to get engaged with present moments is through the senses: hear the sounds around, feel the sensations in the body, or pay close attention to what we see.



in Nature 

So I ask all participants to please go find themselves a nice quiet place at home «in the open air» where we can interchange viewpoints and reasons for the liking (or not) of the stories we are reading in lockdown. They may choose to have their remote lesson today by a window in a well lit room, on their terraces or balconies, sitting comfortably near that vase with fresh flowers, or in that little corner where they can get the smells of fresh fruits on the table. Maybe they the lucky ones with Andalusian patios in the backyard and can hear the sound of fresh water running through a fountain. Or they might simply just sit at the main door steps and feel a fresh breeze. Any place where the five senses can get stimulated… and enjoy the lesson! 






And why invite Mindfulness to our bookclub, by the way? Well, for two reasons basically: 

One, because cognitive learning skills can be developed through activities in contact with Nature, and

Two, you need to come find out!  In the meantime, here are some of the benefits of Mindfulness in Education that I would like to share with you today:

  • bolster student’s well-being
  • help students thrive academically
  • improve overall performance and self-efficacy
  • better ability to engage in tasks that require extensive concentration span 
  • develop  focused attention
  • learn how to active-listen to others
  • time management and work plans
  • participants learn how be more present and engaged




And last but not least:

  • provide with the skills to rebuild resilience
  • decreased frustration
  • greater awareness
  • increased working memory capacity
  • prevent burnout
  • reduced feelings of anxiety and depression
  • higher levels of (self) care
  •  improve distress skills when in stressful situations
  • responsible decision making
  • anger management and conflict resolution 
  • participants learn how to recognise and regulate their own emotions and other’s
  • participants learn how to build up awareness





Given the exceptional situation imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic alternative activities based on the syllabus have been selected [Junta A.]
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