What do the acronyms mean?

Teaching English as a foreign language is referred to in a number of ways around the world and with so many acronyms in the industry, it can be quite confusing. It is comforting to know that the answer to: “What is the difference between all these terms?” is “In reality, not much!

Have a look at the table for some of the common acronyms and their explanations:


Acronym Meaning
ESL English as a Second Language
TEFL Teaching English as a Foreign Language
TESOL Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages
ESOL English for Speakers of other Languages
TESL Teaching English as a Second Language

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