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August 21, 2013

English Language Learner training mandate kicks in this fall

teach-English-in-USThe Metrowest Daily News reports on a new initiative to train educators to support the growing numbers of non-native English speakers at school in the US state of Massachusetts.

Starting this fall, hundreds of teachers and school administrators in the region will have to begin taking state-mandated courses on how to better serve students who are learning English.

The new requirement will not cost teachers or their districts anything, however, and some officials in MetroWest say they wish even more of their staff could be trained how to deal with the growing population of non-native English speakers in their schools.

Called Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners (RETELL), the new state initiative was spurred by a notification from the U.S. Department of Justice two years ago that Massachusetts was not sufficiently training teachers to deal with the unique needs of English language learning students (ELLs). RETELL, which began with a cohort of mostly urban school districts last year, requires all public school teachers with at least one ELL student in their classroom as well as the administrators above them to take a 10- to 45-hour course in Sheltered English Instruction, which is intended to help them better understand and teach those children.

Read the full article from The Metrowest Daily News.

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