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    University of Massachusetts Boston
   
 
  Oct 23, 2017
 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog

Teaching Mathematics to English Language Learners (Graduate Certificate)


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As English Language Learners (ELLs) increase their ability to understand and communicate in English, they also face the significant challenge of learning the academic discourse of mathematics. In Massachusetts, ELL students represent the lowest-scoring category on the MCAS mathematics exams. And sadly, ELLs also have the highest withdrawal rates. The efforts to increase learning opportunities for ELLs places increased demands on mathematics teachers and highlights the necessity of helping students develop mastery of both language and content. In response, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is requiring teachers of ELLs to receive a special license by 2016. Known as the Endorsement in Sheltered English Instruction (SEI), the license must be achieved through completion of a course entitled Rethinking Equity and Teaching for ELLs (RETELL).

The Certificate in the Teaching of Mathematics to English Language Learners builds upon this basic RETELL preparation by developing advanced instructional skills. The certificate provides teachers with strategies to increase ELL students’ knowledge of academic English and to improve mathematics achievement. It includes courses in three fields: mathematics, curriculum and instruction, and applied linguistics. It focuses on the teaching of mathematics in SEI settings. Topics relate math instruction and learning to evaluation and assessment, multicultural education, second language teaching methodology, first language maintenance, and applied linguistics. It is open to all English-as-a-second-language; early childhood; and elementary, middle, and secondary teachers of mathematics.
 

RETELL and SEI Endorsement


All PK-12 teachers of mathematics are required to complete the SEI endorsement by 2016. To receive the SEI endorsement, teachers take the RETELL course through their district. Since RETELL is a vital component of each teacher’s preparation for ELL education, it is required in order to receive the certificate.

Teachers who qualify for a waiver of RETELL according to DESE regulations (eg., ESL licensure) do not have to take RETELL.

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