ESL/EFL terminology?

Hi, who of you is familiar with ESL terminology? ESL stands for English as a Second Language and it describes a market, an industry or simply the use of English by speakers of other languages. As any other industry, the ESL world has created its own abbreviations and acronyms.

For example, there is ESOL which stands for English for speakers of other languages and EFL (English as a foreign language). The abbreviations ESL and EFL or often used by English language learners.

Now, English teachers have their own language as you know. So, they speak about ELT (English language teaching) and TESL (teaching English a second language) and of course there are also TESOL (teaching English for speakers of other languages) and TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language).

OK; before I bore you to death with all these abbreviations and acronyms let me assure you that you don’t necessarily have to know any of those terms in order to learn and use English a second language successfully. As a matter of fact, those abbreviations might even slow down your learning process.

But then again, you might want to know some of this terminology – if you are an English teacher you certainly could add a couple of abbreviations to this list. What I wanted to know is what you think about abbreviations and acronyms in general and maybe you can also share your thoughts on the ESL terminology. Funnily enough, the abbreviation ESL looks a bit like the German word for donkey (ESEL).[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC short conversations: A woman tells her friend how busy she is with her work[YSaerTTEW443543]

In my experience, people end up using ESL or EFL all the time. The other abbreviations only occasionally peek out of the garbage can, but they are seldom used.

A modern world is full of abbreviations and it is coming and coming all the time many more.
Me personnally it seems to be too much and I prefer
people useing additional explanations fixed togeather to the letters ESL.
Sometimes when you would like to ask strait - what does it mean ?
You would have got an uncertain answer and the conlusion that a word was again misunderstood (by you or anybody else involved).
Way of saying abbreviatons aloud couses so much confusion,
English is very easy to overpass or missheard in saying.
Every procedure or documentation have their own special outcome with abb.,
and people like to play with these words forgeting the fact how
hard it is to follow just like this in seconds a context and meaning after them.


I definitely agree with Jamie: some of the abbreviations are more common than others. I think it’s quite handy to use abbreviations like ESL as it gets a bit clumsly to write “English as a Second Language” every time. But I also think that it’s clumsy, and perhaps even unnecessarily complicated, to use many EFL-related abbreviations and terms. Besides, it all depends on the target-group of the text you’re writing. EFL-professionals are likely to know abbreviations like these whilst they might be rather ambiguous to laypersons.


I also know IELTS, IELP (Intensive English Language Program) and
(it’s not exacltly on the subject) two (American) abrreviations: ABE (Adult Basic Education) and GED (General Educational Development) that include ESOL as a necessary part. … olstudents