Abbreviations, acronyms and terminology in the world of learning English


Once you have started teaching TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) lessons or if you are just interested in the basics, you will come across important terms that are generally abbreviated. These terms are essential when you want to communicate with your trainer and associate professors. Teaching English as a Second Language has its own vocabulary, so it is wise to take notes:

  • EFL is short for English as a Foreign Language. This term is commonly used for students, usually a non-native English speaker, who is learning the English language in a non-English speaking country.
  • TEFL means Teach English as a Foreign Language. Usually this is a relevant term for the teacher teaching the English language in a non-English speaking country.
  • ESL means English as a second language. This term is used when a non-English speaking native is learning the English language in an English-speaking country. Immigrants studying English in the United States are commonly called ESL students.
  • ESOL is for English for speakers of other languages. This is a broad term, which almost always includes ESL and EFL.
  • TOEFL it simply refers to Test of English as a Foreign Language.

Also, here are important terms for teachers that you should be familiar with:

  • L2 is an abbreviation for “second language”. Usually the term refers to students who speak a second language.
  • Task-based learning it is a teaching methodology. In ESL, as a student, you are assigned open-ended assignments, in which you are assigned a problem to solve or a goal to accomplish. You are given the freedom to do this in your own way.
  • Protected instruction refers to giving instructions adapted to the needs or characteristics of specific students. For TEFL or ESL teachers, this means giving content-based instructions to non-English speaking natives in simplified English.
  • Affective feedback it is a teaching method with the purpose of promoting student participation. This happens when teachers show signs of interest in understanding and understanding their students’ learning. This is usually done in a form of encouragement through the use of facial expressions, intonations, and body language so that the student is more willing to proactively ask questions if they do not understand the lesson.
  • Student-centered learning (or student-centered) is a teaching methodology that gives responsibility to those who study. This method results in activities and methods that are focused on students. Group work is an example of a student-centered activity. A student’s opinion of what the curriculum will be is another example.
  • Teacher-centered learning it is the traditional way of studying as we know it. Basically this means that the teacher will decide how the class will run, what the class will learn, and what will be tested with little input from the students.

The world of learning English, in many respects, has its own “language game.” It goes without saying that English teachers and learners should also be familiar with these terminologies to get the most out of their experiences.