ESL‏‎ - English as a Second Language

ESL is an acronym‏‎ for English as a Second Language.

ESL students are people learning English as a second language, that is, as another language after their mother tongue‏‎ or primary language.

ESL programs are mainly for people living in an English speaking country, for example many US citizens speak Spanish and learn English as a Second language to live and work in the USA‏‎ .

Teachers who teach ESL classes are defined as TESL‏‎ teachers as they Teach English as a Second Language, which is different from teaching English as a native language. To become a TESL teacher you need specific teacher qualifications.

Compare ESL to EFL‏‎ which is English as a Foreign Language. This is taught to students who are living in a non-English speaking country and wish to learn English for business or pleasure, etc.

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