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ESL Teacher Certification Program

Applications for ESL certification program are now open for Pawtucket teachers only.  The deadline for the application is June 15th.   

Thank you for your interest.

The ESL Teacher Certification Program at SCS is a competency-based (non-credit) teacher certification program offered through the School of Continuing Studies Center for Workforce and Professional Development.  The one-year program begins in July with a three-week summer intensive, one week online and two weeks face-to-face.  The program then continues throughout the school year.  Rather than attend traditional individual courses, each candidate is paired with a Learning Guide (coach) who supports them through a range of learning experiences, including online, face-to-face, and individualized curricula. Candidates also participate with a small, grade-alike cohort in a community of reflective practice. Candidates develop and demonstrate competency in TESOL, WIDA and RI Teacher standards.  Upon successful completion of the program, candidates are eligible to apply for ESL teacher certification with RIDE.

Click below to start the application process:

Application Instructions for Candidates

Program Description

Key Points

Job-embedded and Practice-based:

  • Activities and assignments are practice-based and designed to develop competency in teaching English Language Learners.
  • Utilize your own classroom and school site for learning.

Personalized Learning:  

  • Individually tailored Learning Experiences and Curriculum.
  •  Combines face-to-face and online learning experiences.
  • Specific and transferable learning objectives that drive learning.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in TESOL, WIDA and RIPTS competencies.
  • Potential to waive some program elements with demonstration of prior learning and competency.

Community of Reflective Practice

  • Participate within a small, grade-alike cohort as well as a large group events.
  • Timely, differentiated support from a Learning Guide (expert coach).
  • Teaching and support resources shared and available online at all times.

Efficient and Affordable

  • One year program, July to June.
  • $3500 per candidate for the yearlong program.

Requirements and expectations for program participation and completion:


  •  Summer
    • Before School Year: Participate in an online Intensive between June 25 and July 13 and a two-week in-person Summer Intensive from July 16 - 27  
  • School Year
    • Teach in a classroom with ELs (or obtain access to classroom with ELs);
    • Develop and implement an individualized Candidate Learning and Implementation Plan – see below;
    • Meet with the Learning Guide on a consistent basis, either online or face-to-face to plan and assess progress;
    • Multiple observations via video exemplars of your classroom practice;
    • Conduct four focused observations in a certified EL teacher’s classroom; 
    • Participate in monthly Community of Reflective Practice (CORP) meetings;
    • Lead a session in a spring EdCamp (one Saturday in March).



  • Development of a comprehensive Candidate Learning and Implementation Plan (CLIP) and submission of evidence to demonstrate competency in Domains 1.a.1 through 5.b.7**; planning sessions with Learning Guide to develop appropriate learning experiences and evidence.  Required evidence is indicated below. Other evidence will be determined through the CLIP.
    • Domain 1
      • Choose among 9 artifacts to meet all 8 indicators.
    • Domain 2
      • NCCREST Self-assessment and goal-setting;
      • Self-audit of culturally competent classroom;
      • Video submission of CRT lesson for ELs.
    • Domain 3
      • Video submission of Resource Implementation/Listening and Speaking;
      • Video submission of Resource Implementation/Writing;
      • Video submission of Lesson Implementation/Reading.
    • Domain 4
      • Parent Guide/Handout re. testing;
      •  Video submission of Assessment.
    • Domain 5
      •  Video submission of Collaborative Lesson;
      •  Reflection on EDCamp session leadership.
    • Two Teacher Work Samples
    • WIDA Know-See-Do-Improve learning experiences and evidence submissions (See CLIP).
    • Difference or Disability: mini-module and Action Plan.
    • Candidate and Learning Guide will determine additional artifacts to submit as evidence for all indicators.
  • Dispositional self-assessment – pre-program, mid-program, and final, at a minimum.
  • Three or more TESOL standards self-assessments –pre, mid, and final, at a minimum.
  • Two Teacher Work Sample assignments.
  • Online Discussion Board responses for each Domain in modules as assigned by Learning Guide
  • Readings as assigned in online modules and by Learning Guide, including: 
  1.  Wright, Foundations for Teaching English Language Learners
  2. Gottlieb (2016) Assessing English Language Learners -
    Bridges to Educational Equity - SECOND Edition
  3. 3.  Differentiating Instruction and Assessment for English Language Learners: A  Guide for K-12 Teachers by Fairbairn and Jones-Vo  

** Many candidates will likely bring much experience and expertise to the program.  Through the submission of evidence that is deemed to meet or exceed standard may be waived out of some learning experiences, thus reducing the total investment of time in the program.


  •  The cost of the program is $3,500 for one year.  If a candidate does not meet or exceed all competencies within the year, she/he will need to re-enroll and pay for a second year;
  •  Required books with an approximate cost of $100 (currently on Amazon);
  • (The cost of the ESOL Praxis exam is currently $120.)


  • Completion of application;
  • Copy of valid RI Elementary or Secondary Educator certificate;
  • Two recommendations to attest to the candidate’s commitment, professionalism, and anticipated success in self-paced coursework.  Please see the Admissions Rubric;
  • Undergraduate or graduate official transcript with degree gpa of 3.0;
  • Submit one application essay:  300-400 words, 12pt font, double-spaced; please indicate why you would like to become certified as an ELL teacher.
  • Pre-assessment of:
    • TESOL Standards
    • RI initiatives and laws related to ELs
    • Data-driven instruction
    • CRT Self Audit;
    • Equity and Leadership Dispositional Assessment – baseline and throughout program (adapted with permission from CLEE/PRN)


 Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?

  • Currently, Providence Public School RI-certified Pk-12 teachers are eligible to apply.  The district reserves the right to prioritize registration for key teacher populations.
  • We anticipate opening the program to teachers from other districts next year, pending RIDE approval.
  • Admissions Requirements:  Undergraduate or graduate transcript indicating minimum 3.0 overall g.p.a.  Two letters of recommendation.  Application essay.
  • During the school year component of the program, teachers will need to work directly with English language learners within their own classroom.  If a teacher does not have English Language Learners in her/his classroom, they will need to make additional arrangements to teach in a classroom with ELs outside of the scope of duties.
  • After you have been accepted, you will be expected to complete a series of self-assessments before you are assigned a Learning Guide and Community of Reflective Practice cohort.

Do I get my certificate to teach English Language Learners after I complete the program?

  • If you successfully complete the program and meet or exceed all competencies, you will be eligible for ESL teacher certification by RIDE.  You will also need to submit a certification application to RIDE and pass the ESOL Praxis test. RWU does not issue teaching certificates.  

How much does the program cost?

  • The cost of the program is $3500 for one year.  If a candidate does not meet or exceed all competencies within the year, she/he will need to re-enroll and pay for a second year.
  • Required books with an approximate cost of $100 (currently on Amazon). 
  • (The cost of the ESOL Praxis exam is currently $120.)
  • (The current cost of the RIDE application is 

How long in the program?

  • The program is for one year, July - June.  
  • July: three-week Summer Intensive.  The first week is online.  The second two weeks are face-to-face in Providence.  
  • August – June: Candidates engage in a series of learning experiences throughout the year – dependent on your individualized learning plan, but to include online modules, required assignments, one-on-one meetings with your Learning Guide, monthly cohort meetings, and more!
  • March: Plan for and participate in a Saturday EdCamp.

Do I get college credits in the program?

  • No.  The program is fully competency-based and is offered through RWU’s Center for Workforce and Professional Development.  No college credits are associated with the program.

What do you mean by“competency-based?”

  • Competency-based approaches focus on candidates mastering clear and measurable learning and program outcomes. In competency, education candidates advance through the program upon mastery of standards. This program is designed around the TESOL, WIDA, and Rhode Island Professional Teaching standards.  Consider, for example, TESOL Standard 1.a., Language as a System.  One of several competencies within this standard is 1.a.1:  Demonstrates knowledge of the components of language and language as an integrative system.  Candidates must demonstrate competency by submitting evidence that is assessed as meeting or exceeding the standard.  In this case “Meeting” is defined as “Candidates can use the components of language and language as an integrative system to inform instruction with ELLs” and “Exceeding” is defined as “Candidates can use the components of language and language as an integrative system to create instructional plans for ELLs.”

Who should I contact for more information?

  • If you have questions about your current Pk-12 teaching certification, please contact the RIDE Office of Educator Excellence and Certification Services at 401-222-8893.
  • If you have questions about your undergraduate gpa, please contact your institution’s Registrar.
  • If you have questions associated with PPSD please contact the district Human Resources office at 465-9100. 
  • If you have questions about applying or aspects of the program itself -  or if you are interested in applying to be a Learning Guide (coach) in the program-  please email Kristina Soprano at or call 401.254-5743.