What is the difference between TESOL, TEFL, ELT etc?

When deciding on which TESOL course to take, you will be met with a mountain of information and acroynms relating to teaching English TESOL, TEFL, EAL ........It can all become very confusing! Here are the acroynms and abbreviations about the industry you often see when you are researching and useful for you to know.



ELT: English Language Teaching

a general, inclusive term used in the profession.

ESL: English as a Second Language

a general inclusive term to cover language learners where English is not the first language

EAL: English as an Additional Language English taught to non-English speakers who live in the UK and who need English for study or other purposes, in primary, secondary and tertiary education. EAL was formerly referred to as ESL (English as a Second Language) or E2L.

(T)ESOL: (Teaching) English to Speakers of Other Languages The expression which is used to cover all forms of English teaching to non- English speakers; sometimes also used instead of EAL.

CertTESOL: Certificate of TESOL

The name of the certificate issued by Trinity College London in recognition of having passed their moderated course

(T)EFL: (Teaching) English as a Foreign Language English taught to learners, both overseas and in the UK, who do not normally live or work in an English-speaking country.

CELTA: Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults

An English language teaching certificate that focuses predominantly on teaching English to adults

Besides, there are many similar expressions which relate to aspects of ELT. The most common are EIL (English as an International Language), ELF (English as a Lingua Franca) or LFE (Lingua Franca English), ESP (English for Specific Purposes), EAP (English for Academic Purposes), EYL (English for Young Learners), etc.

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