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Required for the 12-credit TESOL Certificate

S-TESL students are required to have a minimum of six hours’ experience with ESL students in order to complete training. This requirement is met differently depending on the format of study (Intensive, Evening, Online).

  1. 4-Week Intensive students automatically meet the requirement based on their participation in the S-TESL evening ESL class.
  2. Online students are required to have Contact Time and, therefore, will meet this requirement. Additional documentation will be required at the time of the certificate.
  3. Evening students may choose to meet the requirement in a way that fits their schedules. Opportunities are shared with students. Note: Field experience must be in a group setting (not tutoring) with a minimum of five ESOL students.

At the time of certificate application (do not submit separately, form can be found on the Certificates page) the TESOL student must submit the following:

  • Field Experience Verification Form (completed by host teacher)
  • Reflection Sheet

Along with your certificate, the S-TESL Director will write a letter verifying the specific courses the student completed and the field experience. This letter – in conjunction with the certificate – will be useful to graduates when applying for teaching positions that require evidence of classroom experience.


Download the Field Experience Packet for guidelines, FAQs, and essential forms.
Download ESL Volunteer Resources in the Puget Sound region

Field Experience FAQs

I had contact time in an ESOL class before studying TESOL. Does this count?

No. Experience obtained prior to the start of your S-TESL certificate program does not count. We will only accept field experienced obtained after you’ve begun your studies at S-TESL, and all field experience requirements must be completed within one year of completion of your TESOL certificate courses at S-TESL.

Will my certificate state that I have completed this field experience?

Not directly on the certificate, but students will receive a letter of verification from the director when the certificate is processed.

Does S-TESL help students find six hours of field experience?

S-TESL distributes volunteer opportunities with enrolled students. During your studies, you may develop contacts that you can use. There is a list of some locations (below). If you have questions, please contact the Director, George Rowe at roweg@spu.edu.

Is there a deadline for completion of the field experience?

Yes. Field experience must be completed within one year of completion of TESOL studies.

When should I apply?

You submit your application after you’ve completed 12 S-TESL credits and are applying for your TESOL certificate.

I began or completed my TESOL certificate program before Fall Quarter 2013. Do I still need to meet this requirement?

No. Before Fall Quarter 2013, the field experience was optional. This requirement applies to students who began studies at S-TESL Fall 2013 and beyond.