Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE) (EL-109)

Identification, Programming and Scaffolding in ESL and Content-Area Classrooms

Course Dates

Spring 2020 Course now enrolling! 
This course is available to school districts. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

Nicoleta Fillimon, Instructor 


This 15 PDP course focusing on Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE)  provides a hands-on learning experience to unlock your students' potential.  Some of the topics covered include:

  • Massachusetts state identification and programming guidelines for SLIFE
  • A framework and guiding principles for working with SLIFE in your classroom
  • Examination of SLIFE classroom practices using an instructional checklist
  • Implementation of effective teaching strategies that enable SLIFE to meet the demands of the Common Core standards
  • Designing  assessment activities for SLIFE and using data gathered to inform instruction
What participants are saying...
  • This is one of the best courses I have taken. The instructor was so engaging and really understands what it's like to be on the ground teaching with strategies that are actually aligned with what our kids need.

  • I learned a great deal about what distinguishes SLIFE from other ELs, as well as some excellent strategies for teaching SLIFE that engages them immediately with necessary academic content.

  • I have a much clearer understanding of how SLIFE are defined and how many other educators are struggling with some of the same challenges I face in the classroom, and learned how to scaffold vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing activities to provide maximum student participation.

Nicoleta Filimon is a high school administrator for an urban district in MA as well as an adjunct instructor at Salem State University, where she teaches second language acquisition courses to pre- and in-service teachers. Prior to becoming a school administrator, Nicoleta taught ESL to English learners at the secondary level (including SLIFE) for 10 years. Nicoleta has presented on the subject of educating SLIFE at both MATSOL and TESOL conferences and has published in MATSOL Currents. She is the recipient of several awards including the Sontag Prize in Urban Education (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017) and the MATSOL Teacher of the Year Award (2018).

Saturday, April 4 & April 11, 2020
8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Leominster, MA  

Make up date: April 25, 2020

Two 6-hour sessions face-to-face with a 1 hour lunch break plus 3 hours online.

* Course fee includes the required text Breaking New Ground: Teaching Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education in U.S. Secondary Schools by Andrea DeCapua and Helaine W. Marshall.



Credit Card Payment Only

Register Here

MATSOL Course Registration & Payment Policies


Any school educator or leader who works with or oversees a newcomer/SLIFE population of English learners at the secondary level.


Two six hour sessions plus a 3-hour on-line/assignment component. 


15 PDPs - Fulfills Requirement for 15 PDPs in English learner education for recertification.