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Home arrow Blog arrow Acronyms and Descriptions
Acronyms and Descriptions PDF Print E-mail

For someone who is just starting a career in teaching English as a second/foreign language in Italy, the acronyms can be information overload. Here is a quick list of the most common, and what they stand for.

ESL - English as a Second Language Though originally meant to indicate the English used by a non-native English speaker living in an English-speaking country, it is now generally used to refer to teaching English to students who are not native English speakers.

TESL - Teaching English as a Second Language.

EFL - English as a Foreign Language Technically meant to indicate the English used by non-native speakers living in country where most of the population does not speak English.

TEFL - Teaching English as a Foreign Language TEFL (usually in reference to an ESL teacher's credential) can also be interpreted as Test of English as a Foreign Language, but it's less common.

ESOL - English for Speakers of Other Languages

TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages TESOL can also stand for Test of English for Speakers of Other Languages.

ELT - English Language Teaching

CALL - Computer Assisted Language Learning

TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language Originally designed as a test for foreign students applying to American universities (and still used for the purpose), it has also been adopted by many foreign businesses and universities as a general English skills aptitude test. In Italy, many companies require their employees to obtain this certificate.

TOEIC - Test of English for International Communication Created as an alternative to the academically-oriented TOEFL, the goal of the TOEIC is to test a more general, everyday comprehension and use of English and business vocabulary.

CLIL - Content and Language Integrated Learning. Refers to the method of teaching a range of subject matters to students in the English language.  For instance, a Science lesson may be taught once a week in English, with the class teacher and the English tutor. It's a new concept in Italy, and is being experimented with in a handful of schools.

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