Inclusive education

Abbreviations, acronyms and jargon in the world of English language learning

Once you start teaching TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) classes or if you are simply interested in the basics, you will come across important terms that are usually abbreviated. These terms are essential when you want to communicate with your coach and fellow teacher. Teaching English as a second language has its own vocabulary, so it is wise to take notes:

  • EFL Abbreviation for English as a Foreign Language. This term is commonly used for students, usually whose native language is English, who are learning English in a non-English speaking country.
  • TEFL It means teaching English as a foreign language. This term is usually related to a teacher who teaches English in a non-English speaking country.
  • ESL stands for English as a second language. This term is used when a non-English speaking citizen learns English in an English speaking country. Immigrants who study English in the United States are commonly called ESL students.
  • ESOL It is for English for speakers of other languages. This is a broad term that has always included both ESL and EFL.
  • TOEFL Simply refers to Test of English as a Foreign Language.

In addition, here are important teacher terms that you should be aware of:

  • L2 It is an abbreviation for “second language”. The term usually refers to students who speak a second language.
  • task based learning It is a teaching methodology. In ESL, as a student, you are given open-ended assignments, where you are given a problem to solve or a goal to achieve. You are given the freedom to accomplish this task on your own approach.
  • Protected instructions Refers to giving instructions that are tailored to the needs or characteristics of particular students. For TEFL or ESL teachers, this means giving content-based instruction to non-native speakers of English in pidgin English.
  • emotional reactions It is a teaching method aimed at enhancing student participation. This occurs when teachers show signs of interest in understanding and understanding their students’ learning. This is usually done in the form of encouragement using facial expressions, intonation, and body language so that the student is more willing to proactively ask questions if they do not understand the lesson.
  • Student centered learning (or learner-centered) is a teaching methodology that gives responsibility to those who teach. This method translates into student-centered activities and methods. Group work is an example of a student-centered activity. Another example is student input on what the curriculum is.
  • Teacher centered learning It is the traditional form of study as we know it. Essentially this means that the teacher will decide how the class will be run, what the class will learn and what will be tested with very little input from the students.

The world of learning English, in many aspects, has its own “language game”. Needless to say, teachers and students of English should be familiar with these terms in order to get the most out of their experiences.

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