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Language Acquisition Staff Development

Language Acquisition Staff Development: Qualified to Meet Needs of English Language Learners is a policy-to-practice brief that addresses the confusion, often caused by misinformation at the school or district level, that surrounds the issue of staff development for teachers of English Language Learners (ELLs) and is meant as a guide for local association leaders.

  • Not all teachers are required to be trained in English Language Development strategies (ELD).
  • Teacher licenses are not jeopardized by the lack of ELD training. However, districts may be in jeopardy for not providing instruction to ELLs by qualified instructors.
  • ELD training is not a relicensing requirement.

School districts must ensure that English Language Learners (ELLs) are taught by qualified individuals. To do this effectively, district administrators should work with teacher and administrator groups to provide staff development addressing educator learning needs. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) documents used to inform this brief do not mandate, but rather suggest, potential staff development especially for low-incidence districts.

The guiding questions for teachers should be: How will I provide English language instruction to my limited English proficient students so they understand the subject matter content of my instruction?

The topics addressed in this brief are:

  1. Background of Transitional Bilingual Education
  2. Inclusion and English Language Learners
  3. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Guidance
  4. High-incidence Districts
  5. Low-incidence Districts
  6. Staff Development for Teachers and Administrators
  7. Recommended Changes in Policy

Download the brief