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TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language

To read about working here, see Teaching English in the USA.

To read about working here, see Teaching English in Europe.

To read about working here, see Teaching English in the United Kingdom.

TESOL or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages is usually used to talk about teaching English to people who do not already speak English. It's more commonly used by American teachers.

For more, see TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

TESL stands for Teaching English as a Second Language. It's pronounced TESL to rhyme with WRESTLE.

Simply put, this means teaching English to people who are not native English speakers but who live in a country where English is the main language. For example, teaching English to Chinese speaking immigrants in Canada.

For more, see TESL‏‎ - Teaching English as a Second Language.

When a student learns English‏‎ in order to live and work in an English speaking country we say they are learning English as a Second Language. Compare this to someone who does not live in an English speaking country but learns the language to do business in another country; they learn English as a Foreign Language.

For more see Foreign Language‏‎ and Second Language.

The language a child learns from its parents when it first learns to speak; sometimes known as a first language.

For more, see MT - Mother Tongue‏‎.

Students learning English are often described as Beginners, Intermediate or Advanced. Roughly speaking this is their level, i.e. how much English they know, how well they can speak and understand and so on.

For more, see Learner Levels‏ in TEFL.

ESOL is an acronym meaning English to Speakers of Other Languages. It is all about people who do not have English as a mother tongue, learning English. Typically these might be immigrants or workers or students who have moved to a new country.

For more, see ESOL - English to Speakers of Other Languages.

English Only is a simple technique whereby you allow your students ONLY to speak English in the classroom. This means even if they are gossiping they are doing it in English and thus learning & practicing.

For more, see English Only‏‎ in your TEFL Classroom.

EFL is an acronym we use to talk about English as a Foreign Language. EFL students usually live in non English speaking countries and want to learn English mainly to use it on their travels or business trips abroad and to communicate with English speaking visitors to their country, etc.

For more, see EFL‏‎ - English as a Foreign Language.

An Acronym is a word formed by using one or more letters of the words in a phrase‏‎. It's used as an abbreviation of that phrase, e.g. USA, TEFL, NATO.

A Backronym is when we take an existing word and invent a phrase around those letters. It is, if you like, formed in the opposite way to an acronym, e.g.TEFAL = Teaching English For A Laugh.

For more, see Acronyms‏‎ & Backronyms in English.

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Simply put, this is usually used to talk about teaching English to people who live in a non-English speaking country and who want to learn English for business or to take an exam, etc.

It is pretty much equivalent to TESOL and TESL.

For more, see TEFL‏‎ - Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

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photo credit: CSC_2859 (license)

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

This acronym‏‎ is commonly used in Europe and by European teachers – mainly British and Irish.

In most cases TEFL is synonymous with TESOL and TESL‏‎, however there are differences at a deeper level.

Essentially TEFL is teaching English to people who need the language for business or for pleasure or for an exam. In most cases TEFL students will be living in their own (non-English speaking) country and will use English only to converse with foreigners. At work or with their family they will most likely use their own mother tongue‏‎.

Contrast this with TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) which are teaching students who are learning English because they are living in an English speaking country (such as the UK or the USA‏‎) and where they need English for everyday use outside the home.

Note that to teach TEFL you normally need to take a 120hr TEFL Course.

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