Maybe you’re new to teaching in Arizona and you’ve just been told by your Principal or HR Representative that you need you a Structured English Immersion 45-Hour Course. Perhaps you’ve known the whole time you’ve been in your teacher preparation program and you’ve put it off for as long as you can.
Either way, if you’re reading this article, you probably need an SEI Class as soon as possible and you’re looking for one that will actually teach you something you can use with your students. You might even be looking for the most painless way to get this accomplished.
SEI Program Characteristics
First I want to share what Arizona Structured English Immersion is – and what it isn’t. Let’s start with what it isn’t. This could help you save a lot of time and frustration as you go to fulfill the requirement.
What SEI in Arizona isn’t –
It is not applicable to the endorsement requirements of the two other states that have Structured or Sheltered English Immersion – MA and CA. Each state has its own way of addressing their requirements.
It isn’t English as a Second Language or Bilingual Education.
It isn’t language immersion in the truest sense, as we might think of French immersion or Dual Language Immersion
What SEI in AZ is –
It is a great way to learn how to teach English Language Learner students.
It is a focused time for giving students a great start in English at their level.
It helps you understand how to reach English Learners if you are teaching in a mainstream classroom – without feeling like you have to teach two different programs.
What to consider before choosing an SEI Course
Before you sign up for a Structured English Endorsement Class, the two most important things to consider are 1) your timeline for taking the course, and 2) what your learning style is.
Timeline: If you have only a week or two to finish the course, are a busy parent, or if you want to get started but don’t want to do the course on a schedule, you may want to consider a true self-paced online course. This will give you the flexibility to have control over the time it takes to finish your SEI course requirement.
Learning style: Do you like interacting with other teachers from around the state, hearing their ideas, and learning together? If so, attend an interactive, face-to-face course. On the other hand, if you enjoy using a computer to get things done, definitely choose an online class!
Either way, make sure to choose a company that is approved by the State Board of Education. As great as a course can be, no one wants to do it twice.
Finally, make sure that you choose a training company that will teach you research-based strategies to reach your students where they are without the guesswork. You will feel confident and your students will succeed!