During this course, you’ll find there’s a lot of terminology about English Language Teaching. Each week we’ll have a step near the end of the week with a list of key terms from the week’s activities.
Here’s the terminology from this week which is all about the world of ELT. If there are any terms which you’re not sure about, post your question below – you may find one of your fellow learners has an explanation which will help you to understand it better.
CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
An initial teaching qualification from Cambridge English Language Assessment. It’s frequently taken as a four-week intensive course, with input on methodology and assessed teaching practice.
EAP (English for Academic Purposes)
Teaching English to people who are preparing to take, or are taking, a university course in English. The course will cover things like essay writing, note-taking, reading skills and academic vocabulary.
EFL (English as a foreign language)
This is the subject of English when it is taught for work, study or pleasure. Learners may be studying in their own country or studying for a while in an English-speaking country before returning home. They do not intend to live permanently in an English-speaking country. EFL is the term used in European contexts.
ESL (English as a second Language)
This is the term used in the US and Canada to talk about the subject of English when it is not the learner’s first language. Learners may be in the US or Canada or they may be in their own countries.
ESP (English for Specific Purposes)
English for people who need a very specialised type of English often for their jobs. Big sectors within this are Business English, English for Tourism and English for Medicine.
Classes which aim to improve learners’ overall ability to communicate in English by studying the grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation of English and developing the skills of speaking, listening, writing and reading.
TEFL (Teaching English as a foreign language)
Teaching English to learners, both overseas and in the UK, who want to learn English for work, for study or pleasure but who do not normally live or work permanently in an English-speaking country. TEFL is the term used in European contexts.
TESL (Teaching English as a second language)
The term used in the US and Canada for teaching English. It is used for both learners studying in their own country and those studying in the US or Canada and it refers to both learners who live permanently in the US or Canada and those who don’t.
TESOL (Teaching English to speakers of other languages)
The term which is used to cover all forms of English teaching to non-English speakers. The term is widely used in North America, Australia and New Zealand.
You might also find it useful to look at the TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test) Glossary (attached below). The words and phrases in the TKT Glossary includes words and phrases for teaching knowledge connected to language, language use and the background to and practice of language teaching and learning as assessed in TKT. TKT is a teaching qualification which shows teachers how they are developing as a teacher. It is ideal for people who want to prove their teaching knowledge with a globally recognised certificate.