EFL vs ESOL
English is a language that is a truly international language being spoken and understood by people in most countries of the world. Even in countries where English is not spoken, students are desirous of mastering the nuances of the English language as they realize the potential of the language in terms of opportunities and employment. Two terms that are confusing for those who want to make a career for themselves in the field of teaching English to non-natives. These are EFL and ESOL both of which pertain to teaching English to speakers of other languages. This article attempts to find out the differences, if any between EFL and ESOL.
EFL is a term that stands for English as a Foreign language and applies to teachers who want to teach English to students in countries where English is not spoken by a majority of the people. Asian countries such as Korea, China and Japan happen to be perfect places for job opportunities as an EFL teacher. These are countries that teach students English from early years of education. Students do have a decent vocabulary and also have a grasp of the grammar but lack proficiency in spoken English as they do not get exposure to situations where there are native English speakers. Students are desirous of mastering English as a spoken language to adjust well in English speaking countries when they get an opportunity to go there.
ESOL is a rather recent abbreviation that has taken the place of ESL in some countries. It stands for English for Speakers of Other languages. TESOL is the term applied to teachers of English who teach it to non-natives residing in these English speaking countries. While ESL is the term still being used in US, Australia, and Canada, ESOL is the term that has replaced ESL in UK and New Zealand.
What is the difference between EFL and ESOL?
• For a student desirous of learning English, the difference in terms such as EFL and ESOL may be immaterial, but for a teacher preparing for teaching students, there might be differences in approach and lesson plans.
• EFL is a term applied to teaching English to non-natives residing in countries where English is not spoken by a majority (for example, China, Thailand, Japan, Korea)
• ESOL is a rather recent term that has taken over ESL and is being used for teaching English to non-natives in English speaking countries.