Fostering Success: Belongingness Pedagogy for English Language Learners

  • Angela M. Finley University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus
Keywords: Belongingness, Additional language learning, Academic success, Students from linguistically diverse backgrounds, Inclusive education


Research in psychology has found that belongingness is an essential human need and motivation. However, in education, particularly in the field of additional language teaching and learning, the impacts of belongingness on academic success are often overlooked. With universities becoming increasingly linguistically and culturally diverse, knowing how to support students from non-English speaking backgrounds is integral for institutions and educators. This article explores the relationship between belongingness and academic success for additional language learners by examining four elements: positive peer relationships; meaningful student-faculty interaction; learner identity and academic success; and relevant experiences that meet academic goals. Pedagogical approaches that help increase belongingness for language learners are provided to support English as an additional language professionals in creating more welcoming and productive environments at universities and colleges in British Columbia. These approaches may also support other student populations, such as Indigenous students, at-risk students, and even students from traditional or mainstream backgrounds.

Author Biography

Angela M. Finley, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus
Angela Finley (MA, TESL) works as sessional instructor in the Faculty of Education at UBC's Okanagan Campus. She teaches courses in the online Teaching English and Additional Languages (TEAL) Certificate Program.
How to Cite
Finley, A. M. (2018). Fostering Success: Belongingness Pedagogy for English Language Learners. BC TEAL Journal, 3(1), 37-48.