Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners (RETELL)

Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners (RETELL)

What is RETELL?

In December 2012, Massachusetts laws regarding the education of English Language Learners (ELLs) were amended requiring a license or endorsement from the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to instruct ELLs and supervise teachers of ELLs. This amendment, along with a previous requirement calling for MA licensed ESL teachers, requires three SEI components:

  1. English language development taught by a MA licensed ESL teacher;
  2. Core content teachers of ELLs who possess “the knowledge and professional practice standards that core academic teachers must meet to provide sheltered English immersion and are endorsed by the MA Department of Education to do so";
  3. Administrators who supervise teachers of ELLs “must meet knowledge and professional practice standards related to recognizing and supporting effective SEI practices”.

The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education initiative called Rethinking Equity for English Language Learners (RETELL) requires every core subject matter teacher of an ELL to participate in an SEI teacher course and supervisors of teachers of ELLs (e.g., school principals) to participate in an SEI administrator course (currently being developed).  The two courses are being rolled out by DESE across the state with each district expected to participate in them during designated years. 

In addition, educator preparation programs (licensure) are required to offer courses that will enable graduates applying for an Initial license as a core academic teacher, or as a principal/assistant principal or supervisor/director on or after July 1, 2014 to qualify for the SEI Teacher and Administrator Endorsements.  

By July 1, 2016, all educators will be required to earn at least 15 professional development points (PDPs) related to SEI or ESL and 15 PDPs in training in effective schooling for students with disabilities and instruction of students with diverse learning styles. 

How can CES help with this work?

CELE and the CES licensure program are prepared to offer sustained professional preparation and continued professional development in all areas of the RETELL initiative.

CES is ready to provide RETELL instructors to districts that have been allocated this training by the Department. CES has been trained in providing RETELL workshops, and we are a pre-approved vendor of training. Please visit the Center for English Language Education to learn more.

More information and resources can be found at the DESE RETELL website. A description of MA laws and regulations governing SEI may be found at

SEI Endorsement Center

CES has also been selected as 1 of 5 SEI Endorsement Centers in Massachusetts, providing open-enrollment SEI Teacher and Administrator courses. Please visit the SEI Endorsement Center page to learn more.

For more information, contact: 
Events Manager
413.586.4900 x5935