TESOL is the acronym for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages or simply English language instruction for non-native speakers.
This is often used as a synonym for TEFL, though it can also be used to refer to teaching English to non-native speakers in an English-speaking country. While TEFL, is the term generally used in the UK and Europe, TESOL, is more likely to be heard in the United States, Canada and Australia. In this sense the origins can be understood to refer to non-English speakers who have immigrated to an English-speaking country.
Just to add a bit more confusion, TESOL, is also the acronym for the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, which is the American association which is the equivalent of the UK’s IATEFL – the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language.
What is the difference between a TEFL/CELTA/TESOL course?
TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language): This will allow teachers to teach English in a country where English is not the native language.
TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language): This will allow a teacher to teach in an English-speaking country to students whose first language isn’t English.
TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages): This encompasses both TEFL and TESL and can mean either one or both. This will allow a teacher to teach a student whose native language isn’t English.
What is the difference between a TEFL and TESOL?
TEFL and TESOL are both acronyms for teaching English to non-native speakers. Both acronyms can be used to describe qualifications which certify you to teach English as a foreign language.
To a larger extent both "TEFL" and "TESOL" are used interchangeably.
TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)
TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
What is a TESOL/TEFL Teacher?
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) refers to teaching the English language to adults and children whose first or main language is not English.
TESOL can occur either within the state school system or more privately, at a language school or with a tutor.
So, if you’re fluent in English, want to get paid to travel the world and have creative planning skills, consider a career teaching English as a foreign language.
As an English as a foreign language teacher (ESL), you’ll use a range of course books and material, plus a variety of audio-visual aids, to encourage students to communicate with each other using the structures and vocabulary they’ve learnt and to improve the four basic language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. A strong emphasis is placed on dialogue and role-playing, but more formal exercises, language games and literature are also used. Classes are taught in English, even with beginners.