Why Study English? Make Some Goal! All
What is English as a Foreign Language complete list of acronyms

What is English as a Foreign Language?

It is the study of English when it is not your native language. A big question many ask is why do so many people study English and want to learn English?  After all, China is the most spoken followed by Spanish!  English is third, not first.  Yet more people study English as a second language than any other.

Study English Acronyms - Complete List

Here are the reasons that people want to Speak English

Earn More Money

English can get you jobs, promotions and opportunity.

Hospitality, tourism, executive assistants, translators...

Better Job
Study Abroad

Over 1 Billion Students Study!

Students all over the world want to learn English.  

It can help with studying, work, and travel.

Why People Study English as a Foreign Language

  • English is a common language and requirement in the workplace.
  • English is mandatory in order to study in the USA, UK, and English Programs.
  • English is the most common language for travel.
  • English in Asian countries is a popular fad.  Everybody wants to learn English.
  • Parents want their children to have a competitive advantage in knowing English.

Is Speaking and Understanding English as Valuable and Necessary as People Think?

Wow!  This is such a big question.  I can tell you as an English Teacher teaching abroad and through my experience teaching in the USA,  the answer is yes and no.  I’ve had students really utilize English to advance themselves while becoming fluent and speaking and understanding English very well.  I and most teachers have had many students who do not study well, aren’t motivated, have no long term goals, and unfortunately have had a bunch of bad teachers using the wrong technique.

What about an Asian student who studies abroad and learns English.  For the price the parents pay for tuition and living abroad the student’s family can often buy 3-4 houses.  Of course, sometimes the main goal is to escape from a country that does not offer the things parents want for their children so it is worth any price.

How well does a person need to speak English in order to be successful?

Wow!!! Another Unbelievably interesting question!  To work at reception in a nice hotel, which can be a pretty good job, advanced English is not required.  Functional English language skills are mandatory.   To work as an English teacher in your own country, good pronunciation isn’t necessary, although good to have.  Good grammar knowledge is the most important skill. Unfortunately this is the least important thing students studying English as a Foreign Language Need!

On the other hand, some people get great jobs by learning how to speak the English they need for working in their jobs. They usually have good reading comprehension skills, and can write in an acceptable manner.  These are usually hard working people who want to do a good job and advance in their companies.   Being a Tour Guide can be very high paying if you are lucky and get people from the USA on the tour, or other countries that are used to tipping.


English as a Foreign Language Leading to Success

Success can be measured by becoming a citizen in a more developed country than you were born.  English can possibly get you a better job.  Learning English as a Foreign Language is often a requirement of college or universities.  Getting a college degree in a developed country is always a good idea and leads to better work conditions.

Many companies that operate in developing countries offer opportunities and jobs to people who speak English.  Sometimes these jobs are higher paying and very good.  Often the foreign national companies operate in developing countries to save money and pay low wages.  Although they are International Companies, they are  run and managed by local people, often in the same way normal companies are run, and paying only slightly higher wages.

Professionally, there is a lot of prestige in Speaking English, or any other language than your own.  Polyglot-ism (speaking many languages) will become more popular and valuable in the future.  Import/Export Trade companies utilize English extensively.  This is a great field and wages are often not so bad because there is a lot of money in trade.

The following information is provided by an outside source:

All of the Acronyms for Studying English as a Foreign Language

All the acronyms that are for studying English. There are so many!

Acronyms Related to TESL

The acronyms near the top are seen on our website.

The Most Frequently-used Acronyms

  • CALL = Computer Assisted Language Learning
  • EFL = English as a Foreign Language (Studying English in non-English-speaking countries)
  • ESL = English as a Second Language (Studying English as a non-native speaker in a country where English is spoken. Depending on where you are from,the term ESL may be more inclusive and includes EFL. For some people the reverse seems to be true.)
  • L1 = "Language 1" = the student's native (primary or first acquired) language.
  • L2 = "Language 2" = the language being learned or studied
  • TEFL = Teaching English as a Foreign Language
  • TESL = Teaching English as a Second Language
  • TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (It is also the name of an association, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc.)
  • TOEFL = Test of English as a Foreign Language
  • TOEIC = Test of English for International Communication

Commonly-used Acronyms

  • 5W's = Who, What, Where, When and Why
  • CBI = Content Based Instruction
  • EAP = English for Academic Purposes
  • ELL = English Language Learner
  • ELT = English Language Teaching (or sometimes Training)
  • ESOL = English to Speakers of Other Languages (Note: ESL and EFL are often used interchangeably. This acronym is an attempt to make a generic term and then assign more limited meanings to ESL and EFL.)
  • ESP = English for Specific Purposes / English for Special Purposes
  • FLT = Foreign Language Teaching
  • IEP = Intensive English program
  • IPA = International Phonetic Alphabet (or Association)
  • LCD projector
  • LEP = Limited English Proficiency (or Proficient)
  • LL = Language Lab
  • NNS = Non-Native Speaker
  • NS = Native Speaker
  • OHP = Overhead Projector
  • SLA = Second Language Acquisition
  • TPR = Total Physical Response

Other Acronyms Related to TESL

  • BE = Bilingual Education
  • CALLA = Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach
  • CALP = Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency
  • CELTA = Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults
  • CLL = Community Language Learning
  • CLT = Communicative Language Teaching
  • CPE = Cambridge Proficiency Examination
  • EAP = English for Academic Purposes
  • ELL = English Language Learner
  • ESP = English for Special (Specific) Purposes
  • EST = English for Science and Technology
  • FEP = Fluent English Proficient (or Proficiency)
  • FES = Fluent English Speaker
  • GTM = Grammar Translation Method
  • LEP = Limited English Proficient (or Proficiency)
  • LES = Limited English Speaker
  • LMS = Language Minority Student
  • LSP = Languages for Special Purposes
  • MLAT = The Modern Language Aptitude Test
  • NEP = Non English Proficient (or Proficiency)
  • OHP = Over Head Projector
  • SLA = Second Language Acquisition
  • STT = Student Talking Time
  • TEP = Transitional English Proficiency
  • TL = Target Language
  • TPR = Total Physical Response
  • TSE = Test of Spoken English
  • TTT = Teacher Talking Time
  • TWE = Test of Written English
  • VESL = Vocational English as a Second Language


  • BC = British Council
  • NCTE = National Council of Teachers of English (United States of America)
  • IATEFL = International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (United Kingdom)
  • MLA = Modern Language Association
  • OCR = Office of Civil Rights
  • USIA = United States Information Agency
  • USIS = United States Information Service
  • IATEFL = International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language
  • ACTFL = American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (United States of America)
  • APA = American Psychological Association
  • For other associations, see iteslj.org/links/TESL/Associations/.

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