TELIC: Teaching English Language Learners in Content Classes

Helping teachers meet the demands of the modern classroom

In schools across the country, teachers are working with English language learners in content classes. The challenges they face include helping non-native speakers master course material and become contributing members of the school community. The SIT Certificate in Teaching Englilsh Language Learners in Content Classes (TELIC) is a graduate certificate and professional development course that helps content teachers in classes such as math and science develop the tools to meet the needs of non-native English speakers.

The course was originally offered for K-12 teachers in the State of Massachusetts. It has been used with middle school teachers and math classes, but can be tailored specifically for various levels, including college and university.

Participants in TELIC will learn to support English language learners by:

  • Understanding the cultural, linguistic, and academic challenges of English language learners
  • Sheltering content instruction to provide access to the entire curriculum AND to promote the development of English language proficiency
  • Learning research-based frameworks and strategies for teaching English language learners
  • Understanding state English language standards and linking classroom practice to them
  • Collaborating with colleagues to build a sustainable professional community

If you are interested in a hands-on program that helps you implement new ideas in your classroom, this course is for you. TELIC can be offered for individual teachers, or we can put together a course for cohorts from the same school, district or region. For more information, contact SIT TESOL.

TELIC is designed with two integrated components:

  1. A seminar phase involving twenty-four hours of workshops in a modular format offered on-site at a school or in a district. The seminar phase of TELIC is also offered on the SIT campus as part of the Teacher Training and Professional Development Institute.
  2. An implementation phase of approximately three months during which time participants apply what they are learning directly in their classrooms. Teachers do readings and engage in structured, online discussion. They also complete three practical classroom-based assignments. There is an additional final project required of those participants taking the course for graduate credit.

TELIC focuses on three main competency areas in building effectiveness for teachers working with English language learners:
Second language learning and teaching

  • What are the implications of research and relevant theories in language acquisition and literacy for teachers who work with English language learners?
  • How are culture and language related, and what is the role of culture in the mainstream classroom?

Classroom approaches and strategies

  • Revisiting planning: How can teachers structure lessons to maximize student understanding and prepare materials to facilitate learning?
  • Extending instruction: How can teachers make themselves more comprehensible and give all students access to the mainstream curriculum?
  • Reconsidering tasks: How can the teacher engage all students in developing language skills while meeting content objectives?
  • Supporting vocabulary: What is the role of vocabulary in content classes and what are the most effective strategies for teaching vocabulary?
  • Embedding literacy: How can mainstream teachers make texts more accessible and help ELLs to develop literacy skills?
  • Evaluating assessment: How can mainstream teachers assess ELLs fairly and accurately?

Collaboration and reflective practice

  • How can teachers build a reflective practice and sustainable collaboration with colleagues, administrators and parents to support English language learners?

SIT TELIC trainers are highly qualified, experienced ESOL teachers who have worked with adult learners and have previous training experience. They are licensed by SIT through a rigorous, multi-step process and bring a strong passion and dedication to their work.

The trainers teach the course content, process discussions, and coach participants in developing lesson plans and teaching. They also observe participants' teaching and provide feedback to participants after each teaching session.

Who should take the TELIC course?
Elementary grade level teachers and or secondary school content teachers (e.g. math, science, social studies, health, etc.) who have ELLs in their classrooms and would like to learn how to teach them more effectively. In response to state mandates, many teachers have to add an endorsement to their teaching license regarding teaching English language learners. TELIC is designed to help those teachers meet the endorsement requirement.