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Dave's ESL Cafe's Teacher Training Forum

Re: TEFL or TESOL?

Posted By: GambateBingBangBOOM
Date: Friday, 13 July 2018, at 12:11 a.m.

In Response To: TEFL or TESOL? (J)

TEFL means "Teaching English as a Foreign Language". It is specifically for teaching in non-English-speaking countries / areas.

TESL means "Teaching English as a Second Language". It is specifically for teaching in English-speaking countries / areas.

TESOL means "Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages". It is for either teaching in non-English-speaking countries or areas OR for teaching in English-speaking countries or areas.

So TESL and TEFL are both aspects of TESOL.

There are other terms as well such as ELL (English Language Learner), EAL (English as an Additional Language), SLA (Second Language Acquisition) .

If you want to teach in the US (I am from Canada) then you should look up what is required for the target audience you want to teach. If you want to teach in a school system (the k12 system), then you will need a teacher's certificate with some sort of additional qualification, probably. If you want to teach at the tertiary level, then you will need a masters in language teaching. Masters degrees in language teaching may be called M.Ed (SLA or TESOL etc), MA TESOL, MA Applied Linguistics sometimes it may be an MA in English. Programs are housed in departments of Linguistics, Education, English or may be free-standing and not tied to any particular department.

All of this is based on becoming a career language teacher. Many (in fact most) people teach English for a couple of years or so after university and then go on to work in a different area.

It is far more common to begin teaching English overseas and later to teach in your home country than the other way around. Overseas teaching experience is often a requirement of teaching in North America. Assuming you have an undergraduate degree, you can already teach at language schools in many countries. You can possibly volunteer teach in places in the US already (libraries etc).

You can do a short certificate. CELTA and the Trinity TESOL certificates are the most popular (most well-known and therefore most likely to carry weight with employers) but there are others.

Messages In This Thread

TEFL or TESOL?
J -- Friday, 13 July 2018, at 12:11 a.m.
Re: TEFL or TESOL?
GambateBingBangBOOM -- Friday, 13 July 2018, at 12:11 a.m.
Re: TEFL or TESOL?
Stephen -- Friday, 13 July 2018, at 12:11 a.m.
Re: TEFL or TESOL?
nomad soul -- Friday, 13 July 2018, at 12:11 a.m.

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