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TESOL School-Wide English Learning (SWEL) FAQs

SWEL workshops are intended for practicing English as a Second Language (ESL, ELD, EL, ELL, ESOL, etc.) teachers. We know that ESL certification looks different from state to state and this model accounts for that variation. 

Global SWEL Cohorts are offered online through school or district partnerships or individuals who register in one of the open-enrollment SWEL Certificate offerings. If your school or district is interested in setting up a face-to-face or online SWEL Certificate training for ESL teachers, please email TESOL at For individuals who would like to register as part of the open-enrollment group, please click here to view the options. 

Local SWEL Cohorts are offered to site-based school, district, regional, or state communities in person. We will come to you and conduct all three workshops over one week. Please email for more information.

Hybrid SWEL Cohorts are a combination of global and local options. For example, some schools choose to have teachers participate in the Contextual Language Workshop online, followed up with the Professional Development and Coaching Workshops face-to-face. 

Registration fees include the per participant rate based on the number of teachers attending the SWEL Certificate workshops. Prices are not inclusive of facilitator travel (transportation, lodging, and per diem) for face-to-face training. These costs are additions to the local and hybrid trainings based on the rates at time of travel.

No. Some choose to take just one or two of them. Others take one and come back later for another. Consider the focus of each workshop in making this decision. If you want to earn the TESOL SWEL Coach badge and certificate, you will need to participate in all three workshops, which are generally offered sequentially.

In our years of preparing ESL teacher leaders, we have learned that building-level administrator support is critical to the success of any teacher leadership model. Having administration present to learn about the model and how to support your work is helpful when it comes to implementation in your school. We record all online training sessions so if your administrator can’t make it, they can watch a recording and work with you on your action plan outside of the regular workshop meeting time. 


Yes! We often find that the TESOL SWEL community fills a professional learning and networking gap that isolated ESL teachers experience. If you are one of few ESL teachers in your school, you can make a significant impact on the instructional practices that ELs engage with throughout the school day as a SWEL coach. You will also develop a strong professional community with other ESL teachers by participating in the open-enrollment SWEL Certificate Workshops.

Most ESL teacher professional development is based on pedagogy (teaching and learning for K-12 students or children) for ELs. It is focused on “what” and “how” you need to teach your students. Models such as SIOP, GLAD, and AVID serve as an excellent foundation for ESL teacher leadership. SWEL is based on andragogy (teaching and learning for adults) for general education teachers of ELs. It is focused on “what” dispositions, knowledge, and skills general education teachers need to have and “how” to provide continuous teacher learning via coaching and professional development delivery.

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