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ESL / EFL Abbreviations Explained

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You might be a bit confused by the all the abbreviations you see connected with teaching English. To start off with here are the most common abbreviations that you will need to know:

ELT - English Language Teaching
ESL - English as a Second Language
EFL - English as a Foreign Language

The main difference between these are that ESL is English taught to foreign language speakers living in an English speaking country like The United States, Canada, England, Australia, etc. English as a foreign language, on the other hand, is taught to those wishing to learn English for their study / work / hobby needs but who live in countries where English is not the first langauge.

Here are some more important abbreviations related to teaching, teaching certificates, and English exams:

AAAL - American Assocation for Applied Linguistics

ACTFL - American Council on the teaching of Foreign Languages

AE - American English

BAAL - British Assocation of Applied Linguistics

BC - British Council

BEC - Business English Certificate - Cambridge business English exam certificate BrE - British English

BVT - Bilingual Vocational Training

CAE - Certificate of Advanced English - the fourth Cambridge Exam Cambridge Exams - The standard in English examination throughout the world outside of the USA (where the TOEFL is preferred).

CALI - Computer-Assisted Language Instruction

CALL - Computer-Assisted Language Learning

CanE - Canadian English

CAT - Computer Adaptive Testing

CBT - Computer-Based Teaching

CEELT - Cambridge Examination in English for Language Teachers. Tests the English competency of non-native teachers of English.

CEIBT - Certificate in English for International Business and Trade for advanced levels.

CPE - Certificate of Proficiency in English - the fifth and the most advanced of Cambridge's series of exams (roughly comparable to a score of 600-650 on the TOEFL).

CELTA - Certificate in English language teaching to adults (Cambridge/RSA Teaching Certificate also known as C-TEFLA)

DELTA - Diploma in English language teaching (Cambridge/RSA Language Teaching Scheme)

EAP - English for Academic Purposes

ECCE - Exam for the Certificate of Competency in English (Michigan University) - lower level.

ECPE - Exam for the Certificate of Proficiency in English (Michigan University) - higher level.

EFL - English as a Foreign Language

EGP - English for general purposes

EIP - English as an International Language

ELICOS - English Language Intensive Courses to Overseas Students. Government registered centres teaching English to overseas students in Australia.

ELT - English Language Teaching

ESL - English as a Second Language.

ESOL - English for Speakers of Other Languages

ESP -English for Specific Purposes (business English, English for tourism, etc.)

ETS - Educational Testing Service

FCE - First Certificate in English - the third of Cambridge's series of exams (comparable to a score of 500 on the TOEFL and 5.7 on the IELTS).

GMAT - Graduate Management Admission Test. The GMAT measures general verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills.

GPA - Grade Point Average

GRE - Graduate Record Examination - an evaluation test for graduate admission to colleges and universities in the U.S.

IATEFL - International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language

IPA - International Phonetic Association

K12 - Kindergarten - 12th grade.

KET - Key English Test - The most elementary of Cambridge's series of exams

L1 - Language 1 - native language

L2 - Language 2 - the language you are learning

LEP - Limited English Proficien

LL - Language Learning

MT - Mother Tongue

NATECLA - National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults (UK)

NATESOL - National Association of Teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languages

NCTE - National Council of Teachers of English

NLP - Neurolinguistic Programming

NNEST - Non-Native English Speaking Teacher

NNL - Non-Native Language

MTELP - Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency

OE - Old English

OED - Oxford English Dictionary

PET - Preliminary English Test - The second of Cambridge's series of exams.

RP - Received Pronunciation - 'standard' British pronunciation

RSA/Cambridge C-TEFLA - Certificate of Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults. A professional qualification for prospective EFL teachers.

RSA/Cambridge D-TEFLA - Diploma of Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Advanced qualification for EFL teachers who have already completed the C-TEFLA.

SAE - Standard American English

SAT - Scholastic Assessment (Aptitude) Test - pre-university entrance exam in the USA

TEFL - Teaching English as a Foreign Language

TEFLA - Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults

TEIL - Teaching English as an International Language

TESL - Teaching English as a Second Language

TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Langauges

TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language - the most common English proficiency exam for North American universities and colleges, also accepted by some British universities and employers as proof of English proficiency.

TOEIC - The TOEIC (pronounced "toe-ick") is a Test of English for International Communication.

VE - Vocational English

VESL - Vocational English as a Second Language

YLE - Young Learners English Tests - Cambridge Examinations for young learners

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