online TESOL classes

About taking courses online

Online courses work well for people who prefer the flexibility and who have contact with ESL students. Classes are offered each quarter. Students must begin with ELT 5530 in their first quarter.

Some features of S-TESL online classes:

  • asynchronous (no required time to be online)
  • nine modules completed over the quarter
  • firm weekly assignment due dates (usually Saturday at midnight)
  • regular feedback from the instructor
  • required Contact Time with ESOL students (1-2 hours per week) while enrolled. The specific type of ESOL class will depend on the S-TESL class(es) you are taking. You may be a teacher assistant/observer in class.
  • 3-6 hours of homework per week (not including Contact Time)

Online courses are open to anyone anywhere in the world. We have had students from all over the U.S. and overseas locations, including Canada, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Morocco, India, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, China, Germany, Italy, France and Saudi Arabia.

Research shows that the dropout rate is high in distance learning. In recognition of the challenges inherent in distance learning, S-TESL has designed its online classes to maximize student success and learning. Weekly due dates and frequent contact with an instructor help to keep students on track. Having Contact Time with an ESOL class makes your learning more meaningful.

To be successful in online courses, you need to be a fairly self-sufficient student. Online courses can provide community and relationships with your classmates and your instructor, but not to the degree that you will find in on-ground courses. If your learning style means that you thrive in a classroom with colleagues of wide experiences and teachers with a wealth of information to share, you should take the on-ground classes if possible. However, both instructors and students have noted that there is more interaction and sharing in the online format than they imagined. In fact, students often indicate that they have had more instructor input in the online format than in traditional on-ground classes.


smartquoteI have learned that I enjoy teaching English as a Second Language. I was very nervous about beginning this program and teaching ESL and had no idea whether or not I would be able to do it. This class has helped so much in being able to teach English and in giving me the confidence necessary to continue. Read more »

Online Requirements

  • ESOL class Contact Time: View S-TESL Contact Time Information Sheet. S-TESL reserves the right to request verification of ESOL class Contact Time.
  • Each Module must be finished within a week's time (with the exception of Module One, which you have nine days to complete, and Module Nine, which you have 12 days to complete). The entire online class (nine modules) must be finished within the 10-week schedule. (See: Module Schedule)
  • You must have regular and reliable access to the internet and email, and be able to reasonably use and troubleshoot both. You will need word processing software†, Adobe Flash Player to open MP3 files, and you must be able to create, view and modify PDF files. If you have questions about technology requirements, please contact

†MS Word is recommended for preparing and viewing documents. If you do not have MS Word, you will need an alternative (such as Open Office) that can use and save RTF files.

Courses Available

Nearly all S-TESL courses are offered online, but not all of them are available each quarter. See Course Schedules for specific course availability and specific start and end dates. Unless otherwise noted, all courses are 3 credits. See Course Descriptions for details.
  • ELT 5530 is required as a first course for all students. ELT 5532 may be taken concurrently with ELT 5530. For students with part or full-time jobs exceeding 20 hours per week, we strongly recommend taking only one online class per quarter.
  • Personal advising (by phone or in person) is strongly encouraged for students who are registering for more than one online class in a given quarter.


Students must meet regular S-TESL admissions requirements.


Online Classes are offered quarterly. See Course Schedules for start dates and registration deadlines.


In addition to regular tuition, online students pay a $50 per course online platform fee. Visit our Admissions & Registration page for details. For information on refunds, visit our refund policy page.


All classes taken through the School of Teaching ESL carry credits from Seattle Pacific University and are reflected on the transcript. The transcript does not indicate that credits were earned via online classes. Seattle Pacific University is accredited by the Northwest Association for Colleges and Universities. Credits earned may be applied to any or all of these certificates/endorsements:

  • 12-credit TESOL Certificate in TESOL upon completion of four Seattle Pacific University ELT classes with a 3.0 grade point average. ELT 5530 is a requirement.
  • 24-credit Advanced Certificate in TESOL upon completion of 8 Seattle Pacific University ELT classes with a 3.0 grade point average. ELT 5545 is a requirement.
  • ELL or Bilingual Endorsement onto a Washington State Teaching Credential. Click here to view Endorsement information.

On-ground and online classes may be combined to complete the above certificates and/or endorsements. All online classes taken for Seattle Pacific University credit may be taken for graduate status credit. This provides the option for transferring credits into select MA programs at Seattle Pacific University. Call 206-781-8607 or email for program advising.


Required texts titles are listed on our website along with suggestions/tips for online purchasing. This information is also provided in the course confirmation you receive after registration has been completed.  Use caution when ordering from 3rd party sellers; confirm  the specific  ISBN and  that books can be delivered in time for your class start date. You are expected to have your books on the first day of class. If you are outside the US, it is especially important that you order your textbooks with plenty of lead-time.

MoodleRooms and Technical Support

S-TESL uses MoodleRooms: You may preview information about the platform there before being enrolled.

S-TESL will enroll you and send you a login and password on the first day of the quarter. At that time, you can login and access the course. When logged in, the home page of the platform includes helpful information about the platform and how to use it.

For assistance with Moodle errors or other course management system issues, email us. However, it is expected that online students have signed up for an online class because they have the basic technical skills to work efficiently and effectively online. S-TESL does not provide training in the use of the platform.