Course Details


English language learners (ELLs) are an important focus of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (ESE) Proficiency Gap Task Force. Closing the proficiency gap depends on teachers having the skills and knowledge necessary to instruct ELLs effectively. Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) is an approach to teaching academic content in English to ELLs. Generally, but not always, ELLs are in the same classrooms as native English-speaking students.* In this course, participants will review and explore teaching strategies to support English language learners. Participants will also explore technology resources that can support English language learners within the classroom. To apply what they learn in the course, participants will complete a Lesson Plan Template outlining how they will incorporate in their classrooms instructional practices that have been shown to be effective in supporting the learning of English language learners. This self-paced course can be used in conjunction with the Individual Professional Development Plan to satisfy the minimum 15 PDPs related to training in SEI or English as a Second Language in accordance with the License Renewal Guidelines for Massachusetts Educators.

*Adapted from: Sheltered English Immersion Endorsements (SEI).

Goals and Objectives

During this self-paced course, participants will learn skills and strategies to:

  • Understand the linguistic and content learning needs of their English language learner students;
  • Become acquainted with instructional practices that have evidence of their effectiveness for English language learner students;
  • Apply/Incorporate these instructional practices into their teaching; and
  • Use available technology resources to support English language learners in their acquisition of English and to make content instruction accessible.


This workshop is intended for Massachusetts teachers of grades K-12, technology specialists, curriculum specialists, and professional development specialists. This course will fulfill the required 15 PDPs related to training in SEI or English as a Second Language necessary in order to apply for renewal of your professional teaching license in Massachusetts. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers and be proficient with email and web browsing.


This online, self-paced professional development course is divided into four sessions: an orientation and three content-based sessions. The final content session will be split into two sections: K-6 and 7-12. Each content session includes readings, videos, and activities that ask participants to apply what they learn. Each week, participants will add to a Lesson Plan Template to document their learning in the course and to allow them to have a practical take-away so they can apply what they learn with students in the classroom. The time for completing each content session is estimated to be between four and five hours and the total amount of time required for the entire course is estimated to be 15 hours.

session 1

Working with English Language Learners in the Classroom

session 2

Strategies to Improve Academic Language Instruction for English Language Learners

session 3

Supporting Writing and Speaking in the Classroom

Course Syllabus

A more detailed description of each session is provided in the course syllabus.


The following criteria will be used to determine successful completion of this workshop:

  • Completion of all assigned readings and activities;
  • Completion of all interactive self-assessments;
  • Completion of the Lesson Plan Template; and
  • Completion of the Final Course Assessment

Course Readings & Activities

Participants are expected to complete the course readings and activities as posted in each of the session assignment pages. Activities may include exploring websites related to course content, watching online video clips, using specific technology applications, and working on the final project.

Final Project

As a final project, participants will complete a Lesson Plan Template to explain how they will apply what they learned in the course to support English language learners in their classrooms. The template is a Microsoft Word document and is also available in PDF format. Participants are welcome to adapt the template to meet the needs of their own students and teaching style. Participants are expected to work independently on the final project beginning during Session One. Participants should save this document and keep it on file as documentation of successful completion of the course for renewal of their professional Massachusetts teaching license.

Final Course Assessment

After completing course readings, activities, and the final project, participants will be expected to complete the Final Course Assessment. Participants with a passing score of 80% will receive a Certificate of Completion upon successful completion of the Final Course Assessment.


This workshop was developed by EdTech Leaders Online at Education Development Center (EDC). EdTech Leaders Online provides capacity building online training, and online courses for school districts, state departments of education, and colleges and universities.

This course cannot be copied or modified without written permission of EDC.

Last update: October, 2015

© 2015 Education Development Center, Inc., through its project, EdTech Leaders® Online, All rights reserved.