- English as a Foreign or Second Language
ESL (English as a second language), ESOL (English for speakers of other languages), and EFL (English as a foreign language) all refer to the use or study of English by speakers with a different
native language. The precise usage, including the different use of the terms ESL and ESOL in different countries, is described below. These terms are most commonly used in relation to teaching and learning English, but they may also be used in relation to demographicinformation.
ELT (English language teaching) is a widely-used teacher-centred term, as in the English language teaching divisions of large publishing houses, ELT training, etc. The abbreviations TESL (teaching English as a second language), TESOL (teaching English for speakers of other languages) and TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) are all also used.
Other terms used in this field include EAL (English as an additional language), ESD (English as a second
dialect), EIL (English as an international language), ELF (English as a lingua franca), ESP (English for special purposes, or English for specific purposes), EAP (English for academic purposes). Some terms that refer to those who are learning English are ELL (English language learner), LEP (limited English proficiency) and CLD (culturally and linguistically diverse).
Terminology and types
acronymsused in the field of English teaching and learning may be confusing. English is a language with great reach and influence; it is taught all over the world under many different circumstances. In English-speaking countries, English language teaching has essentially evolved in two broad directions: instruction for people who intend to stay in the country and those who don't. These divisions have grown firmer as the instructors of these two "industries" have used different terminology, followed distinct training qualifications, formed separate professional associations, and so on. Crucially, these two arms have very different funding structures, public in the former and private in the latter, and to some extent this influences the way schools are established and classes are held. Matters are further complicated by the fact that the United Statesand the United Kingdom, both major engines of the language, describe these categories in different terms: as many eloquent users of the language have observed, "England and America are two countries divided by a common language." (Attributed to Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, and Oscar Wilde.) The following technical definitions may therefore have their currency contested.
English outside English-speaking countries
"EFL", English as a foreign language, indicates the use of English in a non-English-speaking region. Study can occur either in the student's home country, as part of the normal school curriculum or otherwise, or, for the more privileged minority, in an
anglophonecountry that they visit as a sort of educational tourist, particularly immediately before or after graduating from university. "TEFL" is the teaching of English as a foreign language; note that this sort of instruction can take place in any country, English-speaking or not. Typically, EFL is learned either to pass exams as a necessary part of one's education, or for career progression while working for an organisation or business with an international focus. EFL may be part of the state school curriculumin countries where English has no special status (what linguist Braj Kachrucalls the "expanding circle countries"); it may also be supplemented by lessons paid for privately. Teachers of EFL generally assume that students are literatein their mother tongue. The Chinese EFL Journal [http://www.chinese-EFL-journal.com] and Iranian EFL Journal [http://www.iranian-efl-journal.com] are examples of international journals dedicated to specifics of English language learning within countries where English is used as a foreign language.
English within English-speaking countries
The other broad grouping is the use of English within the
Anglosphere. In what theorist Braj Kachrucalls "the inner circle", i.e. countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, this use of English is generally by refugees, immigrants and their children. It also includes the use of English in "outer circle" countries, often former British colonies, where English is an official languageeven if it is not spoken as a mother tongueby the majority of the population.
In the US, Canada and Australia, this use of English is called "ESL" (English as a second language). This term has been criticized on the grounds that many learners already speak more than one language. A counter-argument says that the word "a" in the phrase "a second language" means there is no presumption that English is "the" second acquired language (see also "
Second language"). "TESL" is the teaching of English as a second language.
In the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, the term ESL has been replaced by "ESOL" (English for speakers of other languages). In these countries "TESOL" (teaching English to speakers of other languages) is normally used to refer to teaching English only to this group. In the UK, the term "EAL" (English as an additional language), rather than ESOL, is usually used when talking about primary and secondary schools. [The Basic Skills Agency [http://www.basic-skills.co.uk/site/page.php?cms=2&p=1011] ]
Other acronyms were created to describe the person rather than the language to be learned. The term LEP (Limited English proficiency) was created in 1975 by the Lau Remedies following a decision of the
US Supreme Court. ELL (English Language Learner), used by United States governments and school systems, was created by Charlene Rivera of the Center for Equity and Excellence in Educationin an effort to label learners positively, rather than ascribing a deficiency to them. LOTE(Languages other than English) is a parallel term used in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Typically, this sort of English (called ESL in the United States, Canada, and Australia, ESOL in the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand) is learned to function in the new host country, e.g. within the school system (if a child), to find and hold down a job (if an adult), to perform the necessities of daily life. The teaching of it does not presuppose literacy in the
mother tongue. It is usually paid for by the host government to help newcomers settle into their adopted country, sometimes as part of an explicit citizenshipprogram. It is technically possible for ESL to be taught not in the host country, but in, for example, a refugee camp, as part of a pre-departure program sponsored by the government soon to receive new potential citizens. In practice, however, this is extremely rare.
Canadaand Australia, the term "ESD" (English as a second dialect) is used alongside ESL, usually in reference to programs for Canadian First Nationspeople or indigenous Australians, respectively. [Saskatchewan Learning [http://www.sasked.gov.sk.ca/branches/lcc/esl/esl_faq.shtml] ] It refers to the use of standard English, which may need to be explicitly taught, by speakers of a creole or non-standard variety. It is often grouped with ESL as "ESL/ESD".
All these ways of teaching English can be bundled together into an
umbrella term. Unfortunately, all the English teachers in the world cannot agree on just one. The term "TESOL" (teaching English to speakers of other languages) is used in American Englishto include both TEFL and TESL. British Englishuses "ELT" (English language teaching), because TESOL has a different, more specific meaning; see above.
Which variety to teach
It is worth noting that ESL and EFL programs also differ in the variety of English which is taught; "English" is a term that can refer to various
dialects, including British English, American English, and many others. Obviously, those studying English in order to fit into their new country will learn the variety spoken there. However, for those who do not intend to change countries, the question arises of which sort of English to learn. If they are going abroad for a short time to study English, they need to choose which country. For those staying at home, the choice may be made for them in that private language schools or the state school system may only offer one model. Students studying EFL in Hong Kong, for example, are more likely to learn British English, whereas students in the Philippinesare more likely to learn American English.
For this reason, many teachers now emphasize teaching English as an international language (EIL), also known as English as a
lingua franca(ELF). Linguists are charting the development of international English, a term with contradictory and confusing meanings, one of which refers to a decontextualised variant of the language, independent of the culture and associated references of any particular country, useful when, for example, a Saudidoes business with someone from Chinaor Albania.
ystems of simplified English
For international communication several models of "simplified English" have been suggested, among them:
Basic English, developed by Charles Kay Ogden(and later also I. A. Richards) in the 1930s; a recent revival has been initiated by Bill Templer [Cf. Ogden, Charles K. (1934), "The System of Basic English", New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., and Templer, Bill (2005), [http://www.hltmag.co.uk/sep05/mart05.htm “Towards a People’s English: Back to BASIC in EIL”] , [http://www.hltmag.co.uk "Humanising Language Teaching"] September 2005.]
*Threshold Level English, developed by van Ek and Alexander [Cf. van Ek, J.A. / Alexander, L.G. (1980), "Threshold Level English", Oxford: Pergamon.]
Globish, developed by Jean-Paul Nerrière
*Basic Global English, developed by Joachim Grzega [Cf. Grzega, Joachim (2005), [http://www1.ku-eichstaett.de/SLF/EngluVglSW/ELiX/grzega-053.pdf "Reflection on Concepts of English for Europe: British English, American English, Euro-English, Global English"] , [http://www.eurolinguistix.com "Journal for EuroLinguistiX"] 2: 44-64, and Grzega, Joachim (2005), [http://www1.ku-eichstaett.de/SLF/EngluVglSW/ELiX/grzega-054.pdf “Towards Global English via Basic Global English (BGE): Socioeconomic and Pedagogic Ideas for a European and Global Language (with Didactic Examples for Native Speakers of German)] , [http://www.eurolinguistix.com "Journal for EuroLinguistiX"] 2: 65-164, and the press releases accessable via the [http://www.basicglobalenglish.com Basic Global English website] .]
*Nuclear English, proposed by
Randolph Quirkand Gabriele Stein but never fully developed [Cf. Quirk, Randolph (1981), “International Communication and the Concept of Nuclear English”, in: Smith, Larry E. (ed.), "English for Cross-Cultural Communication", 151-165, London: Macmillan, and Stein, Gabriele (1979), “Nuclear English: Reflections on the Structure of Its Vocabulary”, "Poetica" (Tokyo) 10: 64-76.] .
Difficulties for learners
Language teaching practice often assumes that most of the difficulties that learners face in the study of English are a consequence of the degree to which their native language differs from English (a
contrastive analysisapproach). A native speaker of Chinese, for example, may face many more difficulties than a native speaker of German, because German is closely related to English, whereas Chinese is not. This may be true for anyone of any mother tongue(also called first language, normally abbreviated L1) setting out to learn any other language (called a target language, second language or L2). See also second language acquisition(SLA) for mixed evidence from linguistic research.
Language learners often produce errors of
syntaxand pronunciationthought to result from the influence of their L1, such as mapping its grammatical patterns inappropriately onto the L2, pronouncing certain sounds incorrectly or with difficulty, and confusing items of vocabulary known as false friends. This is known as L1 transfer or "language interference". However, these transfer effects are typically stronger for beginners' language production, and SLA research has highlighted many errors which cannot be attributed to the L1, as they are attested in learners of many language backgrounds (for example, failure to apply 3rd person present singular -s to verbs, as in 'he make').
While English is no more complex than other languages, it has several features which may create difficulties for learners. Conversely, because such a large number of people are studying it, products have been developed to help them do so, such as the
monolingual learner's dictionary, which is written with a restricted defining vocabulary.
*Consonant phonemes:English does not have more individual
consonantsounds than most languages. However, the interdentals, IPA|/θ/ and IPA|/ð/ (the sounds written with "th"), which are common in English ("thin", "thing", etc.; and "the", "this", "that", etc.) are relatively rare in other languages, even others in the Germanic family ("e.g.," English "thousand" = German "tausend"), and these sounds are missing even in some English dialects. Some learners substitute a IPA| [t] or IPA| [d] sound, while others shift to IPA| [s] or IPA| [z] , IPA| [f] or IPA| [v] and even IPA| [ts] or IPA| [dz] ).
:Speakers of Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Thai may have difficulty distinguishing IPA| [r] and IPA| [l] . The distinction between IPA| [b] and IPA| [v] can cause difficulty for native speakers of Spanish, Japanese and Korean.
*Vowel phonemes :The precise number of distinct
vowelsounds depends on the variety of English: for example, Received Pronunciationhas twelve monophthongs (single or "pure" vowels), eight diphthongs (double vowels) and two triphthongs (triple vowels); whereas General Americanhas thirteen monophthongs and three diphthongs. Many learners, such as speakers of Spanish, Japanese or Arabic, have fewer vowels, or only pure ones, in their mother tongue and so may have problems both with hearing and with pronouncing these distinctions.
*Syllable structure:In its syllable structure, English allows for a cluster of up to three consonants before the vowel and four after it ("e.g.," "straw", "desks", "glimpsed"). The syllable structure causes problems for speakers of many other languages. Japanese, for example, broadly alternates consonant and vowel sounds so learners from Japan often try to force vowels in between the consonants ("e.g.," "desks" IPA|/desks/ becomes "desukusu" or "milk shake" IPA|/mɪlk ʃeɪk/ becomes "mirukushēku").
:Learners from languages where all words end in vowels sometimes tend to make all English words end in vowels, thus "make" IPA|/meɪk/ can come out as IPA| [meɪkə] . The learner's task is further complicated by the fact that native speakers may drop consonants in the more complex blends ("e.g.," IPA| [mʌns] instead of IPA| [mʌnθs] for "months").
*Unstressed vowels - Native English speakers frequently replace almost any vowel in an unstressed syllable with an
unstressed vowel, often schwa. For example, "from" has a distinctly pronounced short 'o' sound when it is stressed ("e.g.," "Where are you from?"), but when it is unstressed, the short 'o' reduces to a schwa ("e.g.," "I'm from London."). In some cases, unstressed vowels may disappear altogether, in words such as chocolate (which has four syllables in Spanish, but only two as pronounced by Americans: "choc-lit".)
:Stress in English more strongly determines vowel quality than it does in most other world languages (although there are notable exceptions such as Russian). For example, in some varieties the syllables "an", "en", "in", "on" and "un" are pronounced as
homophones, that is, exactly alike. Native speakers can usually distinguish "an able", "enable", and "unable" because of their position in a sentence, but this is more difficult for inexperienced English speakers. Moreover, learners tend to overpronounce these unstressed vowels, giving their speech an unnatural rhythm.
*Stress timing - English tends to be a
stress-timed language- this means that stressed syllables are roughly equidistant in time, no matter how many syllables come in between. Although some other languages, e.g., German and Russian, are also stress-timed, most of the world's other major languages are syllable-timed, with each syllable coming at an equal time after the previous one. Learners from these languages often have a staccatorhythm when speaking English that is disconcerting to a native speaker.
:"Stress for emphasis" - students' own languages may not use stress for emphasis as English does.:"Stress for contrast" - stressing the right word or expression. This may not come easily to some nationalities.:"Emphatic apologies" - the normally unstressed auxiliary is stressed (I really "am" very sorry):In English there are quite a number of words - about fifty - that have two different pronunciations, depending on whether they are stressed. They are "grammatical words": pronouns, prepositions, auxiliary verbs and conjunctions. Most students tend to overuse the strong form, which is pronounced with the written vowel.
*Connected speech:Phonological processes such as assimilation,
elisionand epenthesistogether with indistinct word boundaries can confuse learners when listening to natural spoken English, as well as making their speech sound too formal if they do not use them. For example, in RP "eight beetles and three ants" IPA|/eɪt biːtəlz ənd θriː ænts/ becomes IPA| [eɪtbiːtl̩znθɹiːjæns] .
*Tenses - English has a relatively large number of
tenseswith some quite subtle differences, such as the difference between the simple past "I ate" and the present perfect "I have eaten." Progressive and perfect progressive forms add complexity. (See English verbs.)
*Functions of auxiliaries - Learners of English tend to find it difficult to manipulate the various ways in which English uses the first
auxiliary verbof a tense. These include negation (eg "He hasn't been drinking."), inversion with the subject to form a question (eg "Has he been drinking?"), short answers (eg "Yes, he has.") and tag questions("has he?"). A further complication is that the dummy auxiliary verb "do" /"does" /"did" is added to fulfil these functions in the simple present and simple past, but not for the verb "to be".
*Modal verbs - English also has a significant number of
modal auxiliary verbs which each have a number of uses. For example, the opposite of "You must be here at 8" (obligation) is usually "You don't have to be here at 8" (lack of obligation, choice), while "must" in "You must not drink the water" (prohibition) has a different meaning from "must" in "You must not be a native speaker" (deduction). This complexity takes considerable work for most learners to master.
*Idiomatic usage - English is reputed to have a relatively high degree of
idiomatic usage. For example, the use of different main verb forms in such apparently parallel constructions as "try to learn", "help learn", and "avoid learning" pose difficulty for learners. Another example is the idiomatic distinction between "make" and "do": "make a mistake", not "do a mistake"; and "do a favour", not "make a favour".
*Articles - English has an appreciable number of articles, including the definite article "
the" and the indefinite article " a, an". At times English nouns can or indeed must be used without an article; this is called the zero article. Some of the differences between definite, indefinite and zero article are fairly easy to learn, but others are not, particularly since a learner's native language may lack articles or use them in different ways than English does. Although the information conveyed by articles is rarely essential for communication, English uses them frequently (several times in the average sentence), so that they require some effort from the learner.
*Phrasal verbs -
Phrasal verbsin English can cause difficulties for many learners because they have several meanings and different syntactic patterns. There are also a number of phrasal verb differences between American and British English.
* Word derivation - Word derivation in English requires a lot of
rote learning. For example, an adjective can be negated by using the prefix "un-" (e.g. "unable"), "in-" (e.g. "inappropriate"), "dis-" (e.g. "dishonest"), or "a-" (e.g. "amoral"), or through the use of one of a myriad of related but rarer prefixes, all modified versions of the first four.
*Size of lexicon - The history of English has resulted in a very large vocabulary, essentially one stream from
Old Englishand one from the Norman infusion of Latin-derived terms. (Schmitt & Marsden claim that English has one of the largest vocabularies of any known language.) This inevitably requires more work for a learner to master the language.
Differences between spoken and written English
As with most languages, written language tends to use a more formal register than
spoken language. The acquisition of literacytakes significant effort in English.
*Spelling - Because of the many changes in pronunciation which have occurred since a written standard developed, the retention of many historical idiosyncrasies in
spelling, and the large influx of foreign words (from Danish, Norman French, Classical Latinand Greek) with different and overlapping spelling patterns [McGuinness, Diane. (2004). "Early Reading Instruction" Cambridge: MIT Press 41.] , English spelling is difficult even for native speakers to master. This difficulty is shown in such activities as spelling bees that generally require the memorization of words. English speakers may also rely on computer tools such as spell checkers more than speakers of other languages, as the users of the utility may have forgotten, or never learned, the correct spelling of a word. The generalizations that exist are quite complex and there are many exceptions leading to a considerable amount of rote learning. The spelling system causes problems in both directions - a learner may know a word by sound but not be able to write it correctly (or indeed find it in a dictionary), or they may see a word written but not know how to pronounce it or mislearn the pronunciation. However, despite the variety of spelling patterns in English, there are dozens of rules that are 75% or more reliable. [Abbott, M. (2000). Identifying reliable generalizations for spelling words: The importance of multilevel analysis. The Elementary School Journal 101(2), 233-245.] for|further discussion of English spelling patterns and rules|Phonics
Varieties of English
*There are thriving communities of English native speakers in countries all over the world, and this historical diaspora has led to some noticeable differences in pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar in different countries, as well as those variations which exist between different regions, and across the social strata, within the same country. Even within the
British Isles, there are significant regional language differences, differences of (i) pronunciation/accent, (ii) vocabulary, and even (iii) grammar/dialect, when the local dialect differs from that of another region or from the grammar of 'received English'.
*The world holds over 7000
languages, and most exist within only a small geographic area; even most of the top 100 are limited to a small number of countries or even a single state. Some of the more well-known languages are to some degree managed by a specific organisation that determines the most prestigious form of the language, e.g. French languageand the "Academie de la langue française" or Spanish languageand the " Real Academia Española". Since many students of English study it to enable them to communicate internationally, the lack of a uniform international standard for the language poses some barriers to meeting that goal; see international English.
*Teaching English therefore involves not only helping the student to use the form of English most suitable for his purposes, but also exposure to other forms of English (e.g. regional forms/ cultural styles) so that the student will be able to discern 'meaning' even when the words/grammar/pronunciation may be quite different to the form of English with which he has become more familiar.
Exams for learners
Learners of English are often keen to get accreditation and a number of exams are known internationally [ Sources for this are found at the university websites. Given that there are thousands of tertiary institutions that accept one or more of these for entrance requirements, they simply can not be footnoted individually here] :
Trinity College London ESOLoffers Integrated Skills in English (ISE), series of 5 exams, which assesses Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening accepted by academic institutions in the UK. They also offer Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE), series of 12 exams, which assesses Speaking and Listening and ESOL Skills for Life and ESOL for Work exams in the UK only.
* Cambridge ESOL General English exams, a suite of five including
First Certificate in English(FCE), Certificate in Advanced English(CAE) and Certificate of Proficiency in English(CPE)
IELTS(International English Language Testing System), accepted by academic institutions in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and by many in the USA.
City and GuildsInternational ESOL and International Spoken ESOL on demand examinations available at six levels: Preliminary, Access, Achiever, Communicator, Expert and Mastery
London Tests of Englishfrom Pearson Language Tests, a series of six exams each mapped to a level from the CEFR
Secondary Level English Proficiency test
TOEFL(Test of English as a Foreign Language), an Educational Testing Serviceproduct, developed and used primarily for academic institutions in the USA, and now widely accepted in tertiary institutions in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and Ireland. The current test is Internet based, and is known as the TOEFL iBT. Used as a proxy for English for Academic Purposes.
TOEIC(Test of English for International Communication), an Educational Testing Service product for Business English
*TSE - Test of Spoken English
* TWE - Test of Written English
Many countries also have their own exams. ESOL learners in England, Wales and Northern Ireland usually take the national
Skills for Lifequalifications, which are offered by several exam boards. EFL learners in China may take the College English Test. In Greece English students may take the PALSO (PanHellenic Association of Language School Owners) exams.
The Common European Framework
Between 1998 and 2000, the
Council of Europe's language policydivision developed its Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The aim of this framework was to have a common system for foreign language testing and certification, to cover all European languages and countries.
The Common European Framework (CEF) divides language learners into three levels:
* A. Basic User
* B. Independent User
* C. Proficient User
Each of these levels is divided into two sections, resulting in a total of six levels for testing (A1, A2, B1, etc).
This table compares ELT exams according to the CEF levels:
*The TOEIC and TOEFL exams are not part of the Common European framework, and the CEF levels can only be approximately equated to scores in these test. The origin of the scores in this table are uncertain.
Qualifications for teachers
Most people who teach English are in fact not native speakers of that language. They are
state schoolteachers in countries around the world, and as such they hold the relevant teaching qualificationof their country, usually with a specialism in teaching English. For example, teachers in Hong Konghold the Language Proficiency Assessment for Teachers. Those who work in private language schools may, from commercial pressures, have the same qualifications as native speakers (see below). Widespread problems exist of minimal qualifications and poor quality providers of training, and as the industry professionalises, it is trying to self-regulate to eliminate these [ [http://www.tesol-law.com/Vol_2_2008_tda.php "TESOL Certificates. Teaching or Deceiving the EFL/ESL Teaching Profession" by Tom Davidson, March 2008 volume 2 "TESOL Law Journal"] ] .
United States qualifications
Most U.S. instructors at
community colleges and universitiesqualify by taking an MA in TESOL. This degree also qualifies them to teach in most EFL contexts. In some areas of the United States, nearly all elementary schoolteachers are involved in teaching ELLs (English Language Learners, that is, children who come to school speaking a home language other than English.) The qualifications for these classroom teachers vary from state to state but always include a state-issued teaching certificate for public instruction. This state licensing requires substantial practical experience as well as course work. The MA in TESOL typically includes both graduate work in English as one of the classical liberal arts(literature, linguistics, media studies) with a theoretical component in language pedagogy. Admission to the MA in TESOL typically requires at least a bachelor's degree with a minor in English or linguistics, or, sometimes, a degree in a foreign languageinstead.
It is important to note that the issuance of a teaching certificate or license is not automatic following completion of degree requirements. All teachers must complete a battery of exams (typically the Praxis subject and method exams or similar, state-sponsored exams) as well as supervised instruction as
student teachers. Certification requirements for ESL teachers vary greatly from state to state; out-of-state teaching certificates are recognized if the two states have a reciprocity agreement.
Common, respected qualifications for teachers within the
United Kingdom's sphere of influence include TESOLcertificates and diplomas issued by Trinity College London ESOL(CertTESOL) and University of Cambridge ESOL(CELTA).
A certificate course is usually undertaken before starting to teach. This is sufficient for most EFL jobs (see
TEFLfor an extended discussion of travel-teaching) and for some ESOL ones. CertTESOL(Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and CELTA(Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) are the most widely taken and accepted qualifications for new teacher trainees. Courses are offered in the UK and in many countries around the world. It is usually taught full-time over a one-month period or part-time over a period up to a year.
Teachers with two or more years of teaching experience who want to stay in the profession and advance their career prospects (including school management and teacher training) can take a diploma course.
Trinity College London ESOLoffers the DipTESOL (Trinity Licentiate Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and University of Cambridge ESOL offers the DELTA (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults). These diplomas are considered to be equivalent and are both accredited at level 7 of the revised National Qualifications Framework. Some teachers who stay in the profession go on to do an MA in a relevant discipline such as applied linguisticsor ELT. Many UK master's degreesrequire considerable experience in the field before a candidate is accepted onto the course.
The above qualifications are well-respected within the UK EFL sector, including private
language schools and higher educationlanguage provision. However, in England and Wales, in order to meet the government's criteria for being a qualified teacher of ESOL in the Learning and Skills Sector (i.e. post-compulsory or further education), teachers need to have the Certificate in Further Education Teaching Stage 3 at level 5 (of the revised NQF) and the Certificate for ESOL Subject Specialists at level 4. Recognised qualifications which confer one or both of these include a Postgraduate Certificate in Education(PGCE) in ESOL, the CELTA module 2 and City & Guilds 9488. Teachers of children within the state sector in the United Kingdom are normally expected to hold a PGCE, and may choose to specialise in ELT.
Professional associations and unions
TESOL Inc.is Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, a professional organization based in the United States. In addition, there are many large state-wide and regional affiliates, see below.
IATEFLis the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language, a professional organization based in the United Kingdom.
*Professional organisations for teachers of English exist at national levels. Many contain phrases in their title such as the Japan Association for Language Teaching ( [http://jalt.org JALT] ) or the Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers ( [http://www.spelt.org.pk/ SPELT] ). Some of these organisations may be bigger in structure (supra-national, such as TESOL Arabia in the
Gulf states), or smaller (limited to one city, state, or province, such as CATESOLin California). Some are affiliated to TESOL or IATEFL.
NATECLAis the National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults, which focuses on teaching ESOL in the United Kingdom.
National Union of General Workersis a Japanese union which includes English teachers.
University and College Unionis a British trade unionwhich includes lecturers of ELT.
Acronyms and abbreviations
Language educationfor information on general language teaching acronyms and abbreviations.
Types of English
* EAL - English as an additional language. The use of this term is restricted to certain countries. See the discussion in Terminology and types.
* EAP - English for academic purposes
* EFL - English as a foreign language. English for use in a non-English-speaking region, by someone whose first language is not English. See the discussion in Terminology and types.
* EIL - English as an
international language(see main article at International English)
* ELF - English as a
* ELL - English language learner. The use of this term is restricted to certain countries. See the discussion in Terminology and types.
* ELT - English language teaching. The use of this term is restricted to certain countries. See the discussion in Terminology and types.
* ESL - English as a second language. English for use in an English-speaking region, by someone whose first language is not English. The use of this term is restricted to certain countries. See the discussion in Terminology and types.
* ESOL - English for speakers of other languages. This term is used differently in different countries. See the discussion in Terminology and types.
* ESP - English for special purposes, or English for specific purposes (e.g. technical English, scientific English, English for medical professionals, English for waiters).
* EST - English for science and technology (e.g. technical English, scientific English).
* TEFL -
Teaching English as a foreign language. This link is to a page about a subset of TEFL, namely travel-teaching. More generally, see the discussion in Terminology and types.
* TESL - Teaching English as a second language. The use of this term is restricted to certain countries. See the discussion in Terminology and types.
* TESOL - Teaching English to speakers of other languages, or Teaching English as a second or other language. See the discussion in Terminology and types.
* TYLE - Teaching Young Learners English. Note that "Young Learners" can mean under 18, or much younger.
*BULATS - Business Language Testing Services, a computer-based test of business English, produced by CambridgeEsol. The test also exists for French, German, and Spanish.
CELTA- Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults
* DELTA - Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults
IELTS- International English Language Testing System
* LTE - London Tests of English by
Pearson Language Tests
TOEFL- Test of English as a Foreign Language
TOEIC- Test of English for International Communication
UCLES- University of CambridgeLocal Examinations Syndicate, an exam board
References and notes
General language teaching and learning
Second language acquisition
English language teaching and learning
Teaching English as a Foreign Language(TEFL), for an extended discussion of travel-teaching
Non-native pronunciations of English
American and British English differences
List of countries by English-speaking population
Ruth Hayman- ESL pioneer
Crazy English, an idiosyncratic methodology
"Note." Please see for guidelines regarding appropriate external links.
* [http://www.tesol.org/ TESOL International]
* [http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/ NCELA - National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition]
* [http://www.iatefl.org/ International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language]
* [http://dmoz.org/Arts/Education/Language_Arts/English/English_as_a_Second_Language/ Open Directory listing of ELLT-related websites]
* [http://www.asian-efl-journal.com/ Asian EFL Journal]
* [http://www.eilj.com/ English as an International Language Journal]
* [http://tesl-ej.org/ TESL-EJ: Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language]
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