Dr. Nancy Butler approached Seattle University School of Education in the fall of 1984 regarding the need for affordable and accessible initial and continuing education for ESOL teachers.
In Spring Quarter 1985, Seattle University School of Education's Office of Professional Development approved experimentally offering an off-campus evening course titled "Teaching English as a Second Language: Theory and Application", which Dr. Butler taught.
Other course titles were soon added as training needs were perceived and Seattle University School of Education's Program in Teaching ESOL was born.
These off-campus evening courses had very favorable response and continued to grow in both size and number.
In August 1988, intensive daytime courses were added. Effective January 1990, the Program in Teaching ESL incorporated as the School of Teaching English as a Second Language (S-TESL), separated fiscally and administratively from Seattle University, and in cooperative agreement with Seattle University College of Education continues to offer day, night, and online classes which lead to credits from Seattle University.
Today, the course first offered in 1985 as an experiment stands as the foundation course for the fifteen courses offered by S-TESL.
Since 1985 more than 3,500 initial and advanced certificates and 40,000 Seattle University credits have been awarded.
In June 1991, the school moved to Ballard, a cozy neighborhood north of downtown. In October 1992, S-TESL added a new component -- an evening ESOL class.
This ESOL class has the dual purpose of serving the community by providing English language training to refugees and immigrants and at the same time serving as a laboratory for S-TESL teachers and students where methods and techniques can be researched.
In 1993 and 1994 S-TESL acted as advisor to Seattle University in the formation of the new Master's in TESOL program.
In 2000, the online component of the School of Teaching ESL was created.
Between Summer Quarter and Fall Quarter 2004, the School of Teaching ESL said a fond goodbye to its cozy home in Ballard, and moved to the new location in the Licton Springs neighborhood.
At the same time, Dr. Butler became Director Emeritus, and Bernice Ege-Zavala, formerly instructor and Academic Director, became the Director of the School of Teaching ESL.
In 2012 Seattle University announced that -due to internal policy changes - it would end its cooperative agreement with The School of Teaching ESL. The partnership officially was scheduled to end June 30, 2013.
In Spring Quarter 2013 The School of Teaching ESL began a new cooperative agreement with Seattle Pacific University. Through this university partnership S-TESL and Seattle Pacific Univeristy offer post-bachelors certificates in TESOL, the WA State ELL and Bilingual endorsements, and graduate credit options that may be applied towards degrees in the Seattle Pacific Univeristy College of Arts & Science and Seattle Pacific University School of Education.
The School of Teaching ESL has proven that, time and time again over a period of 25+years, it can respond to challenges, growth, and changes and continue to offer excellent training programs in teaching English to speakers of other languages.
Five Statements that changed the course of the school of Teaching ESL
A powerpoint presentation on the history of S-TESL, by founder, and director emeritus, Dr. Nancy Butler.