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Alphabet Soup: An English Guide to ESL Acronyms

By  Verge June 29, 2009

If you're just starting to look into teaching English as a second language (ESL), you have probably noticed that there is a sea of acronyms referring to various programmes. Here's a primer.


English as a Second Language


English as a Foreign language


Teaching English as a Second Language. Generally refers to teaching non-English speakers while in an English-speaking Country.


Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Generally refers to teaching non-English speakers while in a non-English speaking country.


Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. Basically the same as TEFL.


Certificate of English Language Training for Adults. Administered by the University of Cambridge English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). CELTA certification is recognized worldwide as a standard in the TEFL industry. Schools offering this certification must adhere to rigorous standards.

TESL Canada

A federation of Canadian ESL teachers, and associated organizations dedicated to promoting and setting standards for the teaching of English as a second language. Teacher training certifications that are recognized by TESL Canada tend to be well regarded by employers internationally.

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