RETELL: Course Description

MTA Logo   
MTA SEI Endorsement and RETELL Advisory No. 3
Understanding the SEI Endorsement Course
For more information, go to |
In This Issue
Quick Links

March 21, 2013
Dear Local Association President:
Please forward this email to your members so that they have the most recent information on RETELL and the SEI endorsement course in which some educators in Cohort 1 districts are now enrolled.
Paul F. Toner, President
Timothy Sullivan, Vice President
Understanding the SEI Endorsement Course Requirements
The goal of the 45-hour graduate-level SEI endorsement course is to provide teachers with the knowledge and skills to effectively teach English language learners at all grade levels and in all subject areas. Successful course completion will qualify teachers for the SEI endorsement on their license. The hybrid course will be delivered in five online sessions and 11 face-to-face sessions. Participants will be required to complete written assignments and activities. Enrolled participants will be provided a copy of the course syllabus, a participant's manual and information on accessing the online learning sessions through Moodle.  
Course Materials
The 66-page syllabus provides background information on the RETELL initiative, course participation requirements, detailed information on course sessions, optional and required readings, and assessment rubrics. The syllabus can be found in the MTA RETELL toolkit at
The online course sessions and all course work will be accessed through the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS) set up by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). For each session, the Moodle LMS contains the session objectives, the participant's manual, readings, videos, discussion questions and instructions for assignments. An overview of the instructions for accessing Moodle LMS will be conducted at the first class session.
The address for accessing the LMS:
PLEASE NOTE: Moodle is what is called "open source" software; this means that it is free to both the course creator and the course user. No technical assistance is provided. Therefore, we strongly recommend going through the Online Professional Development Moodle Orientation and Login Information guides located on in the "courses" section of the LMS. MTA used to use Moodle for online learning programs but subsequently changed to, and paid for, a technically supported software.
Assessment of Participants
For each course, participants will be assessed on course participation and written assignments. Each week, participants will be given short reading assignments and short writing assignments to complete. For the online sessions, participants will be required to respond to online discussions with other participants. A complete list of  readings can be found on pages 51-54 of Version 1.0 of the course syllabus. PLEASE NOTE:Be aware that course instructors can monitor your participation in both online discussions and the time spent on various websites.
Course Credit Options
Participants enrolled in the course may earn 67.5 PDPs either through the school district or through the graduate credit option. Participants should check with their district and local association for any requirements on earning district credits or graduate credits.
There is no charge for eligible educators who enroll in the course for PDPs or district credit. Graduate credit will be available from several institutions for an additional fee. Regardless of enrollment type, participants are required to earn a grade of C or better to qualify for the SEI endorsement.
Reading Assignments
Required Reading Assignments are out-of-class assignments that are generally under 10 pages and relate directly to the session objectives. Participants are expected to read and review the material before the class. For many of the readings, the entire article or document is made available, however, only the specific page numbers assigned are required. For example, the following assignment is given for Session 2:
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 2011. Massachusetts curriculum framework for English language arts and literacy, 5 and 83, Malden, MA:
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Trumbull, E. and M. Pacheco. 2005. Culture, families, communities, and schools. In The Teacher's Guide to Diversity: Building a Knowledge Base, Volume I: Human Development, Culture, and Cognition, 123-131, 134-136. Providence, RI: Brown
Participants are NOT expected to read the entire text - only pages 5 and 83 of the curriculum frameworks and pages 123-131 and 134-136 of the book. Please check with your course instructor for clarification on reading assignments if you are unsure.  
Supplemental Readings are optional reading material and supporting research. Participants have the option of accessing these materials and reading them ahead of time. These readings frequently support information presented in the online course sessions.
Writing Assignments
A complete list of the 22 written assignments is on pages 10-14 of Version 1.0 of the syllabus. Detailed information for each specific assignment is in the session section of the syllabus. The different types of written assignments include:
  • Journal Entries - short, personal responses about topics covered in the class.
  • Short Papers - two pages description and information from the participant's school or students.
  • Lesson Plans - existing lessons modified for ELLs using the SEI endorsement lesson plan template.
  • Capstone Project - four lesson plans, revisedor new assignments, with one lesson taught to a class.
  • Professional Learning Network (PLN) Summary Forms - asmall group of teachers in the participant's school or district meets to discuss teaching ELLs, individuals complete the PLN form provided, and return to the instructor.
License Renewal using the SEI Endorsement Course PDPs
Teachers who hold a Professional License may use the 67.5 PDPs earned for successful completion of the SEI endorsement course as part of license renewal. All 67.5 PDPs may count as "content" PDPs or may count toward  the required 15 PDPs in SEI/ESL that are required after 2016.
For license renewals after July 1, 2016, all teachers with Professional Licenses will be required to obtain 150 PDPs within five years in order to renew a professional license, as under current regulations. Under the new regulations, the breakdown of how those must be allocated will be as follows:
  • 15 PDPs in ESL and/or SEI.
  • 15 PDPs in SPED.
  • 90 PDPs in educator's content or content-based pedagogy, with a minimum of 60 in content.
  • 30 elective PDPs.
If a teacher has already accrued 150 total PDPs for the current license renewal cycle, the PDPs from the SEI endorsement course may "carry over" to the next renewal cycle this one time only. Teachers are responsible for maintaining copies of all PDP records for their files.  
Other Routes to the SEI Endorsement
At this time, the only approved routes for earning the SEI Endorsement are
  • The SEI endorsement course,
  • Undergraduate or graduate degree in ESL, applied linguistics or a closely related field and
  • An ESL or ELL license.
In the future, additional course options and an SEI MTEL will be available. Educators should check with their district, local president or DESE if they are unsure if  a different course or program will count toward the SEI endorsement. More information on options for earning the SEI endorsement may be found at  
Massachusetts Teachers Association | (617) 878-8232 | | 20 Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108

For more information

Copyright © 20XX. All Rights Reserved.