Teachers, Language teaching acronyms
Teachers

Language teaching acronyms

Language teaching acronyms, Teachers

The acronyms and abbreviations that you find in the field of language teaching are almost a language of their own. Here is our guide to some of the important ones that you may come across:

English

TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) and TESL (teaching English as a second language) are often confused. The difference is, theoretically, that TEFL (or EFL) is teaching English outside of the English-speaking world, while TESL (or ESL) is teaching English to non-English speakers within an English-speaking country. But this distinction is rarely observed... EFL and ESL are interchangeable.

TESOL or ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) is a term that is often used in the UK to describe teaching English to foreigners who have come to stay there.

Just to confuse things, in Britain, EFL or TEFL is sometimes used to cover the whole field of English teaching, whereas ESL or TESL is more commonly used in North America. Similarly, ELT (English Language Teaching) is sometimes used for the same purpose.

The most popular initial qualifications for English teachers are the CELTA (from Cambridge) and the Trinity CertTESOL (from Trinity College) which are effectively equal, just acknowledged by different exam boards.

CAE – Certificate in Advanced English (issued by Cambridge)
CEFR –Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
CELTA – Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (Cambridge ESOL qualification)
CertTESOL – Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Trinity College qualification)
CETYL – Certificate in English Language Teaching to Young Learners
CLIL - Content and Language Integrated Learning - teaching other subjects in a foreign language
CPE – Certificate of Proficiency in English (issued by Cambridge)
DELTA – Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults (Cambridge ESOL qualification)
DipTESOL – Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Trinity College qualification)
EAP – English for Academic Purposes
EFL – English as a Foreign Language
ELT – English Language Training (America) / Teaching (UK)
ESL – English as a Second Language / Ecole Suisse de Langues (that’s us)
ESOL – English for Speakers of Other Languages
ESP – English for Special Purposes
FCE – First Certificate in English (issued by Cambridge)
IELTS – International English Language Testing System
TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language
TESL – Teaching English as a Second Language (usually for immigrant/long term learners)
TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
TKT – Teaching Knowledge Test (Cambridge exam)
TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language
 

French

In French language teaching, the distinction is between FLE (français langue étrangère) and FLS (français langue seconde). FLE is the teaching of French outside of the French-speaking world, while FLS is the teaching of French to non-French speakers within a French-speaking country. FLE is the umbrella term, used to describe the discipline.

CLA - Classe d'accueil – a class in French as a second language at a French college
CLIL - Content and Language Integrated Learning - teaching other subjects in a foreign language
CLIN - Classe d'intégration pour non-francophones – an elementary school class in France for non French speakers
FLE - Français langue étrangère – French as a foreign language
FLS - Français langue seconde – French as a second language – for everyday life
FOS - Français sur objectifs spécifiques – French for specific objectives (work, studies, etc.)

German

DaF (Deutsch als Fremdsprache) is the more common term used to describe teaching German to foreigners, but you will sometimes hear DaZ (Deutsch als zweite Sprache), which nominally means teaching German to non-German speakers in German-speaking countries.

DaF – Deutsch als Fremdsprache
DaZ – Deutsch als zweite Sprache
DSH - Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang – German highschool exam

Spanish

ELE (Español como lengua extranjera) is used as the umbrella term, while EL2 (Español como lengua segunda) is used to describe teaching Spanish to non-Spanish speakers living in a Spanish-speaking country.
EL2 – Español como lengua segunda – Spanish as a second language
ELE - Español como lengua extranjera – Spanish as a foreign language
FIDESCU - Foundation for the research and development into the Spanish Culture

Italian

CEDILS - Certificazione in didattica dell'italiano a stranieri – Italian teaching certificate
CEFILS - Certificazione per Facilitatori dell’Italiano Lingua Seconda – Italian teaching certificate
CILS - Certificazione di Italiano come lingua straniera, (Certificate of Italian as a Foreign Language) - qualification offered by the Foreigners University of Siena
DITALS – Diploma in teaching Italian to foreigners – a post-grad Italian teacher training course
FILIM – Formazione degli Insegnanti di Lingua Italiana nel Mondo
ITALS - Italiano a Stranieri

International list

CEFR –Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
DOS – Director of Studies – the person who oversees a language school’s programs
EUROLTA - European Certificate in Language Teaching to Adults
IH – International House – an association of leading language schools
TT – Teacher Training
TYL – Teaching Young Learners
YL – Young Learners