ELMS Project

In-Service Teachers

The ELMS Project offers a variety of professional development, including topics such as cross-cultural communication, second language acquisition, curriculum adaptation, English as a Second Language (ESL) methods, and assessment of English Language Learners (ELLs) in the mainstream classroom. By focusing on the cooperating teachers that our pre-service teachers work with, we hope to create a community of learners in which pre-service and in-service teachers scaffold their burgeoning knowledge of ELLs and ESL accommodations in the mainstream classroom.

The ELMS Project is funded through a five-year grant provided by the Department of Education's Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA).The project began in September 2011 and will run through August 2016. To receive tuition reimbursement for ELMS-sponsored programs, all courses must be completed by June 2016.

Professional Development Opportunities

Professional development offered through the ELMS Project is designed to fit your career goals and schedule. Each track offers flexible online courses and in-state tuition reimbursement for teachers who currently teach (or M.Ed. students who plan to teach) K-12 in North Carolina schools. In-service teachers can choose from three tracks:

In-Service Professional Development Tiers

*Our Field Experiences Coordinator at Watson College of Education will work with you to coordinate a placement convenient to your location. If you are a teacher, your field experiences may be completed in your home school as long as you have at least one LEP student in your classroom.

Tier 1: ESL Add-on Licensure

English as a Second Language (ESL) is a growing area of need across our nation and at home in North Carolina. An ESL Add-On License can increase your marketability, allowing you to work in both ESL and content area classrooms. The ELMS Project can help you work toward ESL K-12 certification in this high-need area with in-state tuition and fees reimbursement for the ESL Add-On Licensure program.

The ESL Add-On Licensure program, offered through the Watson College of Education, is a non-degree, graduate level program designed to prepare in-service teachers for K-12 certification in ESL.

  • Online course delivery eliminates travel and the need to attend classes on campus
  • Six graduate-level courses (18 credits) can be completed in one to two years
  • Foundational development in ESL prepares you for Praxis II in ESOL
  • Field experiences and case studies provide practical applications in adapted instruction

The ESL Add-On Licensure program requires admission to the UNCW Graduate School. A limited number of seats are available, so apply early to secure your spot. Refer to the Graduate School Web site for application deadlines and requirements.

*The add-on licensure program is full for fall 2015 and the deadline for admission to the UNCW Graduate School has passed.

See How to Apply for more information about how to apply for in-service professional development offered by the ELMS Project.

Course Work

The ESL Add-On Licensure consists of six graduate level courses that can be completed in one or two years, depending on the number of courses taken in one semester.

Course Semester Credits

EDN 511: Introduction to ESL



EDN 516: Second Language Acquisition Research and Theory



EDN 517: Methods for Second Language Learners
(can only be taken after EDN 511 & EDN 423)



EDN 537: Linguistics for Teachers



EDN 518: English as a Second Language Assessment

(can only be taken after EDN 511, EDN 516 & EDN 517)

Summer I


EDN 519: Pedagogical Grammar for Teachers

Summer I


Thinking about Pursuing a Master's Degree?

All courses in the ESL Add-On Licensure can be transferred to a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Studies / Specialization English as a Second Language (ESL) Focus Area with approval from the Program Director or minimum grade of 3.0 in completed ESL Add-On Licensure classes. Once you complete the ESL Add-Online Licensure, you are more than halfway to a master's degree-you'll need only five more courses to complete the M. Ed.

For more information about the M. Ed. Specialty Studies with Concentration in ESL, visit: https://uncw.edu/ed/itfse/esl/eslmed.html

Tier 2: ESL Topics for Non-ESL Teachers (EDN 507)

This graduate-level course covers cross-cultural communication and second language acquisition but focuses on methods and assessment information aimed at helping mainstream teachers become more proficient teachers of English Language Learners (ELLs). We will review critical aspects of the Common Core State Standards and how teachers can increase the academic language proficiency of all their students.

The course is completely online and taught by Dr. Eleni Pappamihiel, Program Coordinator of Watson College of Education's TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) Program and Director of the ELMS Project.

This course requires acceptance to the UNCW Graduate School as a non-degree student in the ESL Add-On Licensure program of interest. It is also available to current education graduate students as an elective. See How to Apply for more information about how to apply for in-service professional development offered by the ELMS Project.

Program Change: Beginning spring 2014 transcripts will be required for students applying to the UNCW Graduate School to enroll in ESL Topics for Non-ESL Teachers (EDN 507).

Upcoming Class Dates

We are accepting applications for summer 2016. You must be a current student in the UNCW Graduate School or accepted to the Graduate School for fall admission.

Graduate School application deadline for summer admission: March 15, 2016

See How to Apply for more information about how to apply for in-service professional development offered by the ELMS Project.

Tier 3: 10-hour ESL Professional Development

Revised and Improved 10 hour professional development: more interactions, examples resources. With a stronger focus on adapting lesson plans.

In this self-paced course, you will learn the basics about the field of ESL and working with ELLs. The goal of this course is to give K-12 content area teachers and paraprofessionals a beginning knowledge of the field and to help begin conversations with the ESL professionals in home school and districts. This qualifies for one CEU and is available each month.

This course is perfect for busy professionals!

  • Self-paced format allows you to work at your own pace over a four-week session
  • Completely online course delivery eliminates travel costs and need to attend workshops
  • Course repeats each month offering you the flexibility to choose the time that works best with your schedules
  • Foundational development in ESL enables content area teachers new to ESL to effectively collaborate with ESL teachers in schools and districts

The ELMS Project covers fees charged by UNCW Swain Center Continuing Education; up front payment is not required.

This course may also satisfy a continuing education unit (CEU) for ESL professional development required for Title 1 schools. Please check with your district for specific CEU requirements. Refer to the Syllabus for course details: ESL Professional Development Course Syllabus

2015/2016 Course Dates

The course is offered each month, beginning on the first Monday of the month and running through the last day of the month. *We expect the ESL Professional Development Course to be available through July 2016, if grant funds are still available. Sign up in two easy steps:

Course Start Date Application Deadline
July 2016 July 4, 2016 *The deadline for the July course has passed