Department of Applied Linguistics
University of Massachusetts Boston
Teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL)
Licensure Handbook
(for Initial License)
Policies and Procedures
Academic Year 2010-2011
This handbook has been prepared solely for students who are enrolled in the Applied
Linguistics Master’s graduate program and who also seek to obtain ESL Initial
Licensure.1 The purpose of the handbook is to provide you with information
regarding the policies, processes, forms, deadlines and other helpful information
specific to obtaining ESL licensure. Please note that the Applied Linguistics ESL
licensure required course of study is a Massachusetts Department of Education (MA
DOE) approved program.
Read the different licensure handbook sections and carefully note the established
processes that must be followed as you progress through the various professional
components of your Applied Linguistics academic program.
This handbook should be used in conjunction with the UMass Catalog and other
pertinent materials distributed by the Graduate College of Education, the Office of
Licensure and Field Experience, and the Department of Applied Linguistics.

 Keep in mind that Preliminary ESL licensure can be obtained once a student completes a BA and
passes both MTEL exams (Communication and Literacy, and ESL). Students apply directly with the
DOE for this first (Preliminary) license. The Applied Linguistics licensure program of study allows
students to apply for their next license--INITIAL License (second license). In five years time, teachers
with initial licensure will be expected to apply for Professional License (third and last license) but this
process is carried out under the auspices of their individual school districts and is not the responsibility
of universities.
Master’s degree-seeking students in the Department of Applied Linguistics have the
option to complete the requirements for the Teacher of English as a Second
Language License (ESL) PK-12. In fact, licensure services are a courtesy that is
offered only to matriculated Applied Linguistics students. Furthermore, students
enrolled in the ESL licensure track cannot graduate with their master’s degree in
Applied Linguistics until after they have completed all licensure course requirements,
including the student teaching practicum.
All master’s degree-seeking students have access to licensure advising and are
strongly encouraged upon entering the program to schedule an initial meeting with the
Licensure Coordinator (please see last page of this document for Apling Licensure
Coordinator name and contact information). During this student-initiated first
meeting, the Apling License Coordinator will introduce the student to the DOEapproved
course of study (refer to page 5 for the list of courses). This initial meeting
is very important to help you determine if you need ESL licensure and what steps to
take in order to obtain licensure. Prior to meeting with the Licensure Coordinator
students must read this handbook.
(Please note: students interested in obtaining ESL licensure are expected to become familiar
with DOE Professional Standards for teachers. The link for the professional standards
Who needs an ESL License?
The Massachusetts License in ESL is required for individuals who are seeking a
teaching job in the Massachusetts Public Schools in ESL or Bilingual classrooms.
The Educator Preparation Division in the Massachusetts Department of Education
works with other states to share information on educator preparation and licensure and
to develop licensure reciprocity agreements to facilitate teacher and administrator
movement into Massachusetts.
The following states have signed the National Association of State Directors of
Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC), contract with Massachusetts for
interstate licensure reciprocity.
Alabama Kansas North Dakota
Alaska Kentucky Ohio
Arizona Louisiana Oklahoma
Arkansas Maine Oregon
California Maryland Pennsylvania
Colorado Michigan Rhode Island
Connecticut Mississippi South Carolina
Delaware Montana Tennessee
District of Columbia Nebraska Texas
Florida Nevada Utah
Georgia New Hampshire Vermont
Guam New Jersey Virginia
Hawaii New Mexico Washington
Idaho New York West Virginia
Illinois North Carolina Wyoming
The same admissions requirements set to enter the Master’s program apply for
admission into the licensure program. Licensure assistance is offered as a courtesy
only to Master’s degree-seeking Applied Linguistics graduate students. It is strongly
recommended that you decide during your first semester in the program whether you
want to work towards an ESL license or not in order to plan ahead and avoid
misunderstandings and last minute problems such as missing requirements.
Licensure Requirements at a Glance
Students working toward their licensure need to do the following:
1. Complete the required ESL coursework (see list on page 6)
2. Complete the 75 hour prepracticum fieldwork and submit one or more reflection
papers (see p. 7 for details)
3. Pass the required Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) exams (see
p. 8):
a. If you are interested in ESL Prek-6 licensure, you are expected to pass
the following MTEL exams:
1) Literacy and Communication
2) ESL subject area
b. If you interested in ESL 5-12 licensure (either middle school or high
school) , you are expected to pass the following MTEL exams:
1) Literacy and Communication
2) ESL subject area
4. Complete a supervised student teaching practicum or internship (supervised
semester of teaching in one’s own classroom) during the last semester of study.
The student teaching practicum or internship consists of one semester of full-time
supervised teaching in a public school in Massachusetts in the grade level, and
area in which the student is seeking licensure. (The DOE requires a minimum of
300+ hours but students typically exceed the minimum in one semester’s time.)
As of 2004, student teaching-practicum WAIVERS ARE NO LONGER
PERMITTED by the MA DOE regardless of student years of ESL teaching
PRACTICUM OR INTERNSHIP. The student teaching
practicum/internship must be completed AFTER all coursework has been
successfully completed.
The student teaching practicum and the internship constitute similar experiences.
Apling students who are currently teachers have the option of carrying out their
practica or internship in their own ESL classroom as long as they are teaching in
the grade level(s) in which they are seeking ESL Initial Licensure.
Licensure Requirements in Detail
1. ESL Required Coursework
All students seeking initial license in ESL need to complete the required coursework
as it is listed below.
Required Coursework for Initial Teacher License: ESL Grades: PreK-6 and 5-12
All students seeking initial ESL licensure need to complete the required coursework
listed below. If care is taken in selecting courses licensure requirements can be
fulfilled by taking just one more course than is required for the MA, plus the semester
long 3 credit practicum. All 5 core courses correspond to the MA track, and Apling
618 Methods and Approaches is required of students in the MA ESL track and the
Initial Licensure track. Care must be taken in the selection of electives. The specific
electives noted below are required by the MDOE.
1. Apling 601 Linguistics
2. Apling 603 Cross Cultural Perspectives
3. Apling 605 Theories and Principles in Language Teaching*
4. One of the following bilingual, multicultural education courses:
a. Apling 614 Foundations of Bilingual/Multicultural Education
b. Apling 615 Methods and Materials in Bilingual Education*
c. Apling 616 Curriculum Development in Bilingual Education*
5. Apling 618 Teaching ESL: Methods and Approaches*
6. Apling 621 Psycholinguistics
7. Apling 623 Sociolinguistics
8. One of the following linguistics courses:
a. Apling 627 Phonetics and Phonemics
b. Apling 629 Structure of the English language
c. Apling 625 Second Language Acquisition
9. One of the following literacy courses:
a. Apling L673 Teaching Reading in the Bilingual/ESL Classroom*
b. Apling 635 Literacy and Culture*
10. Apling L669 Writing Theories in Second Language Instruction*
11. Apling 670 Testing in the Bilingual/ESL Classroom*
12. Apling 698 Practicum or Internship
™ Courses with an asterisk (*) have an optional pre-practicum fieldwork component
™ Courses in bold print signal Applied Linguistics Master’s degree course requirements
In some instances, students who have taken similar courses at other institutions can
transfer graduate credits towards their licensure coursework requirements. An official
transcript, a photocopied course description from the official school catalog or
syllabus, and a student written rationale for substituting the required course with
another are required. All credit transfers are subject to approval by the Apling
Licensure Coordinator. Please note that courses taken in other institutions that are
used towards licensure requirements may not necessarily be transferred towards the
Masters degree in Applied Linguistics.
(Early on, students need to clearly distinguish between requirements for the Master’s
degree in Applied Linguistics and requirements for MA DOE ESL Licensure.)
2. Pre-Practicum Field Work
The Pre-Practicum consists of 75 hours of field observation in an educational setting.
You have the option of completing the 75 hours in one classroom setting or to divide
the hours up among various classrooms. You are expected to write one reflection
paper per classroom observed. These hours must be documented and submitted with
the application for student teaching. Please note that the following APLING courses
include a Pre-Practicum component:
APLING 605 Theories and Principles of Language Teaching
APLING 615 Methods and Materials in Bilingual Education
APLING 616 Curriculum Development in Bilingual Education
APLING 618 Teaching ESL: Methods and Approaches
APLING 635 Literacy and Culture
APLING L669 Writing Theories in Second Language Instruction
APLINGL L673 Teaching Reading in the Bilingual/ESL Classroom
APLING 670 Testing in the Bilingual/ESL Classroom
If you opt to conduct pre-practicum observations in various classrooms, you should
work with the professor who is teaching the course to supervise your field work.
Work done in a course with a field experience component may be used towards
fulfilling the pre-practicum requirements.
One copy of your three-to-five page reflection paper synthesizing your pre-practicum
experiences must accompany the application for student teaching and one copy should
be submitted to the Apling Licensure Coordinator for your Apling file.
The Graduate College of Education and the Applied Linguistics Department are
committed to ensuring that all of our ESL Licensure candidates are truly able to teach
diverse groups of children. Therefore, you are encouraged to diversify your choice of
pre-practica field sites. It is expected that you will be able to document field
experience in urban settings as well as suburban settings. Your field experience
should provide you with an opportunity to work with students from diverse ethnic,
racial, social, and linguistic backgrounds as well as students with disabilities. All
candidates must document at least one “diverse” pre-practica setting as part of their
application for the student teaching practicum.
Following the Graduate College of Education Handbook (2007-2008) the PrePracticum
Field Experience may be waived for in-service teachers who are currently
teaching in the public schools, and/or for teaching licensure candidates that have a
minimum of 1 year teaching experience. However: If the Pre-Practicum has been
waived based on prior experience, a minimum of one reflection paper is still
required. In order to have the pre-practicum waived the teaching experience must
be documented on official letterhead and signed by one’s principal or supervisor.
3. Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL)
The Massachusetts Department of Education requires all candidates for initial license
in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to pass the state-approved Massachusetts Test
for Educator Licensure. This test consists of two parts: the first tests the candidate's
communication and literacy skills through a reading and writing test; the second tests
the candidate's competency in the subject matter specific to the licensure area sought
(ESL). In order to enter into student teaching, all candidates must pass all parts of the
MTEL: the Communications and Literacy and the Subject Matter (ESL) sections. You
may apply for student teaching and begin the process to get a placement, but you will
not be able to actually begin the practicum until you have submitted passing scores
for all tests.
(Keep in mind Preliminary ESL licensure can be obtained once a student completes a
BA and passes both MTEL exams [Communication and Literacy and ESL]. Students
apply directly with the DOE for this first [Preliminary] license. The Applied
Linguistics licensure program of study allows students to apply for their next license--
INITIAL License [second license]. In five years time, teachers with initial licensure
will be expected to apply for Professional License [third and last license] but this
process is carried out under the auspices of their individual school districts and is not
the responsibility of universities.)
For further information about the MTEL, please call the Department of Education at
(781) 338-6600 or visit their website at: . The
Massachusetts Department of Education has contracted with National Evaluation
Systems (NES) in Amherst, MA, to administer these tests. Interested students may
contact NES to obtain information regarding upcoming MTEL administrations and
registration materials at (413) 256-2892 or via the MTEL web
site: Registration Bulletins may also be available in the Offic
of Licensure and Field Experience at the UMass Graduate College of Education
MTEL test preparation sessions may be available for the Literacy and Communication
MTEL test through the UMB GCOE. In order to find out if, and when, sessions m
be available, please contact the GCOE Licensure Office or visit their websit
MTEL Test Information Booklet available at
Test Registration and Information
National Evaluation Systems (N.E.S.): (413) 256-2892
4. Practicum (Student Teaching/Intership)
The Practicum consists of one semester (14 wks) of full-time supervised student
teaching in a public school in the Boston area, in the grade level (PK-6, 5-12), and
area (ESL) in which the student is seeking licensure (a minimum of 300+ hours).
Please keep in mind that the supervising teacher/mentor teacher must be licensed in
ESL. The supervising teacher/mentor must either have been working on an ESL
Initial License for three or more years or a Professional license, and must hold that
license for teaching at the grade level for which the student teacher/intern is seeking
initial licensure.
(Please note that the Practicum required by the Massachusetts Department of
Education is different from the Practicum that is required for the Master’s in Applied
Linguistics. Students who are NOT interested in ESL Licensure should contact the
MA Practicum/Field Experience Coordinator [please see last page of this document
for MA Field Experience Coordinator name and contact information] to discuss the
requirements of the MA Practicum.)
Prior teaching in ESL in other countries, in states other than MA, and in some cases in
private schools does not qualify for Pre-Practicum experience.
As of 2004, the MA DOE no longer permits students to waive their student-teaching
practicum requirement. If the Applied Linguistics practicum student is currently
employed as an ESL teacher in the grade level in which he/she seeks licensure, the
student will be allowed to complete an internship practicum in his/her own classroom.
Please note that student-teaching practica are done during the last semester of your
study and only after you have completed all required ESL licensure coursework.
However, students with only one remaining course may take the course while
completing student-teaching. In addition, during student teaching, students are also
required to fulfill the requirements of the APLING 698 (3 credits) seminar that
supports your teaching experience.
Applying for Student-Teaching
Please be advised that student-teaching applications are accepted only twice per year.
Applications must be submitted to the Applied Linguistics Licensure Coordinator.
Students are reminded to keep copies of all documents in their personal files.
Applications for the fall semester are due on the first Friday of March and
applications for the spring semester are due on the first Friday of October. Please
double-check due dates for applications as March 1 and October 1 have also been
listed on the website for the GCOE. To be safe, use the March 1 and October 1
deadlines. Although the Apling licensure coordinator sends out application reminders
to students, ultimately, the student is responsible for meeting due dates.
When you submit your application for student-teaching you must bring the following
1. A completed application for student-teaching. Applications are available
online at the Applied Linguistics website and at the Graduate College of
Education website at www.gcoe.umb.ed/licensure.html ).
2. A current UMass transcript. All required ESL courses must be completed
before student teaching begins. Highlight all courses required for certification
as listed in your student handbook. Be sure to list any courses approved as
3. A list of courses in which you are currently enrolled.
4. a. Documentation of 75 hours of field observation to submit with the
application, or a waiver in the form of letter validating completion of
experience through current or past qualifying teaching position.
b. A 3-5 page reflection paper synthesizing your Pre-Practicum experiences.
(Note: If the Pre-Practicum has been waived based on prior experience, the
reflection paper is still required).
5. Proof of passing the MTEL Communications & Literacy section and the ESL
subject area exams.
 6. Your ELAR page containing the following three sections: a. personal
 information, b. education, and c. activity history.

Are you ready for student teaching? Have you:
______completed all the required ESL coursework?
______passed the Communication & Literacy MTEL test and the ESL subject matter
______met with the Apling Licensure Coordinator to approve licensure application
______attached one copy of your Pre-Practicum Reflection Paper to your application
and submitted a second copy to the Apling Licensure Coordinator?
______submitted a recent transcript to the Licensure Coordinator?
_____ registered for APLING 698 Practicum?
______submitted student teaching/internship application to the Applied Linguistics
submitted your ELAR page that includes personal information, education, and
activity history?
How to apply with the DOE on-line
In order to complete your application for Licensure through the Applied Linguistics
Graduate Program, you must go to the DOE website and apply online
- Click under Licensure
- Click on ELAR (Educator Licensure and Recruitment)
- Click on Create New ELAR Account
- Provide your information and you will be given a login name and a
password which you can use to access your information

After you have registered with the DOE, and applied for the license(s) you want,
please print and save the receipt.
Apling Licensure Coordinator
Supervisor, Judith Ishigami...….………………………………….……..617-287-5760
Office of Licensure and Field Experience (Graduate College of Education)
Elaine Bauer, University Licensure Coordinator ………………………. . . . . . . . . . . . .
Applied Linguistics Main Office……...................................................... 617-287-5760
Michele Ladanyi, Program Coordinator
MA Practicum/Field Experience Coordinator
Judith Ishigam…. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …. 617-287-5760
Massachusetts Department of Education………………………………...781-338-3000
Applied Linguistics Graduate Program ………………
Graduate College of Education2
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
UMass Boston …………………………………………………………

Massachusetts Department of Education …………………………
National Evaluation Systems: MTEL …………………………
U.S. Department of Education (No Child Left Behind) …………………

 Please note the GCOE website contains all necessary applications and student teaching evaluation