Sunday, May 1, 2016

Resources for taking the SEI MTEL

I'm going to use this blog to collect links to materials (other web pages or downloadable files) that will help you study for the Massachusetts SEI MTEL exam. If the amount of material to read seems overwhelming, remember that the RETELL course offered by DESE is the equivalent of a 3 credit graduate course.

The Syllabus for the SEI RETELL course will give you an overview of the material covered by the course.  Items marked with * below are required readings for the RETELL class. It is well worth taking a look at the Overview and Test Objectives as well as the sample multiple choice and sample open response questions. The exam is a self-scheduled computer based assessment; a passing score will ensure you an SEI endorsement on your teaching license. 60% of the points are for multiple choice questions, 40% for the open response questions. If you do well on the multiple choice and not so well on the open response, it is still possible to pass overall. Before you start studying, I highly recommend you read this blog post by Dan Tobin who took the SEI MTEl in 2014. Make sure to read the comments too. 

All information regarding the new SEI endorsement can be found on the DESE RETELL site.

WIDA information

"The WIDA Consortium is a non-profit cooperative group whose purpose is to develop standards and assessments that meet and exceed the goals of No Child Left Behind and promote educational equity for English language learners.

Students identified as ELLs (often after being assessed with the W-APT test from WIDA) are required to take the ACCESS test from WIDA each year that they are officially listed as being ELLs. WIDA 'Can-do' descriptors help teachers identify and describe what students can do in English.  WIDA has a download library where you can find many useful documents, including the 'Can-do' descriptors.

SEI teachers need to be familiar with the names of the different levels of English language proficiency and what kind of language can be expected of students at each level. The open response part of the test requires you to plan a series of lessons based on one of ten provided texts. You need to be able to identify vocabulary that needs to be taught, a reading lesson, a writing lesson, and assessment - and all differentiated by English language development level. 

Selected readings 

All readings listed below marked with * are required in the RETELL class.

Diversity, Cultural and Social Aspects of Teaching ELLs
(10% of the multiple choice section of the test & integrated into the open response section.)

* Belin, Connie and Blank, Jacqueline N. International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. 2008. Identifying Gifted and Talented English Language Learners, Grades K-12. Des Moines, IA: Iowa Department of Education. Pages 9-13 and 19-27.

* DeCapua, A. and Marshall, H.W. 2011. Reaching ELLs at Risk: Instruction for Students With Limited or Interrupted Formal Education, 55(1), pages 35-40.

* Menken, K. and Kleyn, T. 2009. The Difficult Road for Long-term English Language Learners. Supporting English Language Learners, 66(7) Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, pages 1-8.

Rance-Roney, Judith, 2009. Best Practices for Adolescent ELLs, 66(7). Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, pages 32-37.

Create a welcoming classroom - a collection of resources from Colorín Colorado.

Vocabulary and Discourse

* Calderón, M. 2011. Teaching Reading and Comprehension to English Learners, K-5: Teaching Reading Comprehension and Content, pages 67-83. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. (Not available online)

* De Jong, E.J. and C.A. Harper. 2005. Preparing Mainstream Teachers for English Language Learners: Is Being a Good Teacher Good Enough?  Teacher Education Quarterly 32 (2), pages 101-105.

* Donnelly, W.S. and C.J. Roe. 2010. Using Sentence Frames to Develop Academic Vocabulary for ELLs. Reading Teacher, 64 (2), pages 131-136.   
* Graves, M., D. August and M. Carlo. 2011. Teaching 50,000 Words. Better Evidence-Based Education: 6-7, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University.

Graves, M, D. August and J. Mancilla-Martinez, 2012. Teaching Vocabulary to English Language Learners,  Teachers College, Columbia University, pages 10-34

* Understanding Vocabulary Development for ELLs in SEI Teacher Endorsement Course Participant's Manual 2.0

Hill, J.D., Miller, K.B., Classroom Instruction That Works With Second Language Learners pages 1-10

Kinsella, K., 2005. Teaching academic vocabulary. In Aiming High RESOURCE: Aspirando a lo Mejor. Santa Rosa, CA: Sonoma County Office of Education.

Reading Comprehension                                                      

* August, D. and T. Shanahan, eds. 2006 Developing Literacy in Second-Language Learners: Report of the National Literacy Panel on Language-Minority Children and Youth

* Calderón, M. 2011. Teaching Reading and Comprehension to English Learners, K-5.Teaching Reading Comprehension and Content, 85-103. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. (Not available online)

* Calderón, M. 2007. Teaching Reading to English Language Learners, Grades 6-12. Chapter 4: Teaching Reading Comprehension and Content, 47-67. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Robertson, K. 2009.  Reader’s theater: Oral language enrichment and literacy development for ELLs. Colorín Colorado.

* Reading theory for ELLs in SEI Teacher Endorsement Course Participant's Manual 2.0


* Brisk, M., Horan D. and MacDonald, E. 2007. A Scaffolded Approach to Learning to Write, in Inclusive Pedagogy of English Language Learners: A Handbook of Informed Practices.
* Gebhard, M., Harman, R. and Seger, W. 2007. Reclaiming Recess in Urban Schools: Learning the Language of Persuasion  in Language Arts Vol 84 No. 5
* Gillespie, A. and S. Graham. 2011. Evidence-based Practices for Teaching Writing, in Better Evidence-Based Education. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University, 4-5. 
Haslam, J., 2011. Using an evidence-based practice or program in Better: Evidence-Based Education
Lenski, S., & Verbruggen, F. 2011. Teaching spelling to English language learners. Colorín Colorado.
Myhill, D. 2011. Harnessing Grammar: Weaving Words and Shaping Texts, in Better: Evidence-Based Education
Zwiers, J., & Crawford, M. 2009. How to start academic conversations. Educational Leadership, 66(7), 70–73
* Writing about a text in SEI Teacher Endorsement Course Participant's Manual 2.0

Content instruction for ELLs

A series of articles and videos from Colorín Colorado

Other study materials

80+ sets of Quizlet flashcards created by teachers studying for the SEI MTEL.

GOHAcademy has a useful page that lists important terms to know for the test, with links to definitions / further resources. For the moment at least, it is available to anyone. Some of their links are broken or password-protected, but it does provide a comprehensive list of terms to know. (GOHAcademy offers 2 day courses to help you pass the SEI MTEL. It is a financial commitment - their spring 2016 course costs as much as $599 ($317 with early registration discount) and you still have to pay $185 to take the test, so the overall cost could be more than taking a for cost class.)

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