What is TESOL?
There are many acronyms related to the teaching of the English language, and a few of the main ones are listed here:
TESOL stands for Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages
TESOL is a term commonly associated to the English teaching and English teacher certification process from a distinct North American perspective. TESOL is a more modern term that encompasses both TEFL and TESL.
TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Teaching English in a non-native English-speaking country, e.g., teaching English in Korea; they are learning a foreign language – English. A teacher is teaching them a foreign language.
TESL stands for Teaching English as a Second Language
Teaching English in a native English-speaking country, e.g., teaching English in America to Chinese-speaking people; they are learning a second language. A teacher is teaching them a second language.
EFL stands for English as a Foreign Language
EFL is the term commonly used worldwide to describe the study of the English language in a country where English is not the students' native language.
ESL stands for English as a Second Language
ESL is the term commonly used worldwide to describe the study of the English language in a native English-speaking country by non-native English speaking people.
Note: TESOL, TEFL, TESL, EFL, ESL are very similar in meaning and they are often used interchangeably in the field of teaching English. When you are searching for jobs, apply to any positions advertised using these various acronyms, as there is no standardized acronym system at present. There are also many other acronyms too numerous to mention, which are also used concerning different certificate programs. Do not let these acronyms confuse you, just be aware that many do exist.
ESP stands for English for Specific Purposes
Many people around the world are learning English because of specific needs in their work. Some examples of occupations in which employees need to or choose to learn English to improve their English proficiency, and as a result, their work, are: business people, pilots, engineers, travel agents, hotel staff, etc. – virtually all occupations on the planet!
EAP stands for English for Academic Purposes
EAP programs are designed to assist students in achieving a certain English level that will allow them to be successful in their academic pursuits in an English-speaking educational institution.
TOEFL stands for Test Of English as a Foreign Language
International students who have learned English as a second or foreign language and wish to attend an English-speaking university or college (usually in North America) must write and pass the TOEFL test. A passing score on the TOEFL is one of the main entrance requirements.
TOEIC stands for Test Of English for International Communication.
This is an exam that is a sister to the TOEFL test. It tests students in various fields of language communication. Many business owners in both native-English and non-native English-speaking countries request potential employees to show that they have passed this exam in order to work in their company.
IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System
Many English language learners need IELTS in order to pursue academic or non-academic training. IELTS is recognized by universities, employers in many countries, professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies.
FCE stands for First Certificate Examination
This is a British English language proficiency exam for non-native English-speaking students.