Do You Know the Alphabet Soup of TEFL?

With so many acronyms that are always being referenced in teach abroad material, we wanted to help you break down those letters and help you understand the lingo in the world of ESL (or EFL) to better prepare you for your transition into teaching abroad!

EFL – English as a Foreign Language – Students learn English in their countries. For example, a student living in Poland takes English classes there.

ELL – English Language Learner – Our students!

ESL – English as a Second Language – Students learn English in the English-speaking country in which they are living permanently or temporarily.

ESOL – English to Speakers of Other Languages – This broader term which includes all learning contexts.

ELF – English as Lingua Franca – English spoken between non-native speakers, usually for business purposes

CELTA – Cambridge’s Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages  – a widely recognized teaching qualification

TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language – This is the field you want to study to learn to teach.

TESOL – Teaching English to speakers of other languages – Another, broader term for this profession. It is also the name of the industry’s largest professional organization, TESOL.org.