The ESL Certification Portfolio

Boyce House, Winter

Boyce House, Winter

For people who wish to teach in US public schools, SIT offers the MA in Teaching English as a Second Language in US Public Schools.  This degree prepares candidates for teaching limited- and non-English-speaking students who are in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.   There are two distinct benefits of this program:  SIT’s world-renown MA in Teaching and a teacher’s license.  Vermont’s teacher’s license is recognized by most US states*; SIT’s master’s degree is recognized in all of them.

As with the Summer MAT and the Internationalist MAT, the ESL Certification MAT program concludes with a major written project.  In addition to meeting SIT’s standards for graduation, ESL Certification students also must meet the Vermont Department of Education’s.  To do so, students create a portfolio that focuses on issues directly related to teaching and documents them.

A competency-based system, the MAT ESL Certification portfolio is comprised of several parts, each with its own sections.

1.  Introduction and clarification of the candidate’s theme of Experiential Learning.

2.  The heart of the portfolio documents teaching competency through the six entries specified by the Vermont Department of Education.

  • Teaching episodes
  • Understanding student learning and modifying instruction
  • Accommodating students identified as having special needs
  • Teaching over time
  • Colleagueship and advocacy
  • Self-reflection and vision

3.  A culminating paper on a topic of the candidate’s choosing

4.  Documents (transcripts, resume, lesson plans with analysis, student work, supevisor’s memo, etc.)

Watch for an posting soon from an ESL Certification candidate.

*Transferability of Vermont’s K-12 ESL Certification is recognized from 2005 through 2010 in all US states, plus the District of Columbia and Guam, except Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Utah.  These states do recognize SIT’s master’s degree.  Each state legislature determines which other states’ teachers’ licenses it will recognize.  Imagine how complicated it must be to keep track of all those details!  In fact, you can see the lists, sorted by jurisdiction (state) at the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification.


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