Acronyms & initialisms for ESL teachers

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This short article is aimed at defining and explaining important acronyms and initialisms that the trainee or novice teacher will be required to know.

CEFR: Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. This is the language benchmark scheme that was set up by the Council of Europe: it is recognized and used throughout Europe and in other parts of the world.

CEFR examination benchmarks: A1 – “Breakthrough or beginner”; A2 – “Way stage or elementary”; B1 – “Threshold or intermediate”; B2 – “Vantage or upper intermediate”; C1 – “Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced”; C2 – “Mastery or proficiency”. These letters are shown on language examination certificates issued by various educational organizations. EFL: English as a foreign language. This is the descriptive term for studying English as a foreign language. ELL: English language learner. This is an EFL student. ELT: English language teaching or training. ESL: English as a second language. This is an alternative initialism to EFL. ESP: English for specific/special purposes. ELLs learn how to communicate in English in a special field or profession, e.g. science, engineering, medicine, business, etc. ESOL: English for speakers of other languages. This is English taught to non-speakers of English.

IELTS: The International English Language Testing Service. This is an EFL examination required for the purpose of entry into higher educational institutions: it is administered by the British Council. https://ielts.britishcouncil.org/

IELTS examination benchmarks: 0 – Did not attempt the test; 1 – Non User; 2 – Intermittent User; 3 – Extremely Limited User; 4 – Limited User; 5 – Modest user; 6 – Competent User; 7 – Good User; 8 – Very Good User; 9 – Expert User.  TEFL: Teaching English as a foreign language. This is a generic acronym for EFL teacher training courses. TESL: Teaching English as a second language.  This is another name acronym for TEFL. TESOL: Teaching English to speakers of other languages. This is the activity of teaching EFL. TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language.  This is the international examination that is required for American university entrance. http://www.ets.org/toefl?WT.ac=toeflhome_faq_121127 UCLES: The University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate. This is the EFL examination organization of the University of Cambridge. http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/about-us/what-we-do/international-language-standards UCLES principal examinations: A1 – YLE – Young Learners English A2 – KET – Key English Test B1 – PET – Preliminary English Test B2 – FCE – First Certificate in English C2 – CAE – Certificate of Advanced English C1 – CPE – Certificate of Proficiency in English

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