ELL Practicum

The practicum for your program is considered a high stakes assessment. You are expected to complete your practicum assessment during the term in which you are approved by the WGU Field Placement office and have accepted the practicum assessment into your term, ideally the first date of a new term. If you wish to accelerate the practicum assessment into a current term, it will be important to work closely with your mentor to ensure that you have enough time to complete the practicum, which must be done by the end of the term. 


When the WGU Field Placement office approves your practicum, they will enter the start date of the practicum to reflect the date of the approval and the end date of the practicum will align with the last day of your current term. Before you may begin your practicum, you must enroll and accept the practicum assessment into registration for the current term. 


Your placement must be at the appropriate level in an accredited U.S. school that meets WGU and state licensure requirements. Different states and different WGU programs have specific placement requirements.  Placements must be in a traditional, on ground setting (residential treatment facilities, prisons, home schools or virtual placements do not meet this requirement). 


While all students who complete this program for licensure are required to complete their practicum in a K-12 setting, for students who signed at enrollment a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that they do not intend to seek licensure, alternative practicum sites may be approved such as a community college, tutoring center, or other structured educational program as determined by documentation provided to WGU's Field Placement Office.  Students with a signed MOU may complete their teacher work sample (TWS) at this alternative site.


Note: WGU does not allow field placements to be waived or shortened regardless of an advanced program candidate’s previous experience. 


Your program provides you with the opportunity to develop and refine your teaching skills in a supportive, real-world classroom environment during the practicum. You also have the opportunity to demonstrate the following Five Core Propositions outlined by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) relating to what Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do:


  • Teachers are committed to students and their learning.
  • Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.
  • Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.
  • Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.
  • Teachers are members of learning communities.

Once you receive approval for your clinical supervisor and Student Application, you may begin your practicum. The clinical supervisor and host teacher provide regular, detailed feedback regarding your teaching performance and mastery of the following WGU teaching competencies and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Standards:


  1. Planning for Instruction (WGU): The graduate designs instruction that effectively integrates understanding of subject matter, curriculum goals, cross-disciplinary skills, pedagogy, and students.
  2. Domain 1. Language (TESOL): Candidates know, understand, and use the major theories and research related to the structure and acquisition of language to help English language learners’ (ELLs’) develop language and literacy and achieve in the content areas.
  3. Domain 2. Culture (TESOL): Candidates know, understand, and use major concepts, principles, theories, and research related to the nature and role of culture and cultural groups to construct supportive learning environments for ELLs.
  4. Domain 3. Planning, Implementing, and Managing Instruction (TESOL): Candidates know, understand, and use evidence-based practices and strategies related to planning, implementing, and managing standards-based ESL and content instruction. Candidates are knowledgeable about program models and skilled in teaching strategies for developing and integrating language skills. They integrate technology as well as choose and adapt classroom resources appropriate for their ELLs.
  5. Domain 4. Assessment (TESOL): Candidates demonstrate understanding of issues and concepts of assessment and use standards-based procedures with ELLs.



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