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Bilingual and ESL

DPI is currently receiving a high volume of contacts for assistance.  The three most commonly asked questions and their answers are below:

Help with WAMS IDs

Before you can submit an application to DPI, you must register for a Web Access Management Systems (WAMS) user ID.

How to set up a WAMS account

Already have one or more WAMS accounts?

How to start your WAMS account recovery:

Perform a WAMS account recovery for all emails you have. Enter your email address but do NOT enter your User ID to start your WAMS account recovery. Once in the account recovery process you will be prompted to change your password. After you change your password you will be told in parentheses what your correct User ID is. Please make note of that before you terminate the account recovery session. Once you have recovered all WAMS accounts you have, login to ELO with each of your accounts individually. If you can see your licenses, you are logging in with the correct WAMS account. If you are taken through the Onboarding process again, you are not using the correct WAMS account and should try another account.

If you encounter errors in the WAMS account recovery process, please contact WAMS directly.  DPI is unable to help with WAMS recovery because the system is used by many state agencies and is run by the Department of Administration:

Revalidating Life or Lifetime License

Educators, whose Life or Lifetime license was invalidated in July, have until December 31 to revalidate their license. Upon approval of the $45 Request Background Check - Lifetime Licensee [5900] application, the Lifetime license will be revalidated just as if the educator completed the application before June 30. Educators will have until December 31 to complete this application for their license to be revalidated.

Background Checks

DPI is required by law to conduct a background check on each applicant for a Wisconsin educator license regardless of whether it is an initial request or a renewal request.

All educators are required to complete a background check to maintain or revalidate a life or lifetime license. There are directions for how to complete the $45 Request Background Check - Lifetime Licensee [5900].

To find the year in which your most recent background check was submitted, search License Lookup using your name or entity number and check see the “Last Background Check Submitted” field.

Bilingual Education

Bilingual Education (023/1023) is a supplemental license allowing teachers to teach subjects for which they hold licenses for in two languages.

Examples:

  • A teacher who holds a Mathematics (400/1400) license for Early Adolescence – Adolescence (73) with Bilingual License can teach Mathematics in two languages to children ages 10-21.
  • A teacher who holds a Regular Education (777/1777) license for Middle Childhood – Early Adolescence (72) with Bilingual License can teach core academic subject areas covered by the regular education license (Mathematics, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Science) in two languages to children ages 6-12.
     

English as a Second Language (ESL)

ESL (395/1395) license allows the license holder to teach the English language to English Language Learners while supporting core academic subject instruction provided by the classroom teacher at the grade or developmental level specified on the license.


Please see our ESL, Bilingual/Bicultural, and World Languages guidance document for a useful chart that identifies the programs that can be taught to English language learners (ELL) with different teacher licenses.