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The Most Frequently-used Abbreviations in English Language Teaching

The Most Common Abbreviations that you will need to know . . .

  • ELT = English Language Teaching (or sometimes Training)
  • FLT = Foreign Language Teaching
  • SLA = Second Language Acquisition
  • 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.)
  • EFL = English as a Foreign Language (Studying English in non-English-speaking countries)
  • The main difference between these are that ESL is English taught to foreign language speakers living in an English speaking country like The United States, Canada, England, Australia, etc. English as a foreign language, on the other hand, is taught to those wishing to learn English for their study / work / hobby needs but who live in countries where English is not the first language.
  • 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.)
  • TEFL = Teaching English as a Foreign Language, used to describe the teaching of English in situations where it is a foreign language.
  • TESL = Teaching English as a Second Language, used either to describe the teaching of English in situations where it is a second language or to refer to any situation where English is taught to speakers of other languages.
  • TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, used, particularly in the USA, to describe the teaching of English in situations where it is either a second language or a foreign language. (It is also the name of an association, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc.)
  • TEFLA =Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults
  • TEIL = Teaching English as an International Language

Commonly-used Abbreviations

  • AE = American English
  • BE = British English / Bilingual Education
  • SAE – Standard American English
  • CanE – Canadian English
  • OE – Old English
  • OED – Oxford English Dictionary
  • 5W’s = Who, What, Where, When and Why
  • CBI = Content Based Instruction
  • EAP = English for Academic Purposes
  • ELL = English Language Learner
  • ESP = English for Specific Purposes / English for Special Purposes  (business English, English for tourism, etc.)
  • IEP = Intensive English program
  • IPA = International Phonetic Alphabet
  • LEP = Limited English Proficient (or Proficiency)
  • LL = Language Learning / Language Lab
  • NNS = Non-Native Speaker
  • NS = Native Speaker
  • OHP = Overhead Projector
  • GTM = Grammar Translation Method
  • TPR = Total Physical Response
  • CLL = Community Language Learning
  • CLT = Communicative Language Teaching
  • K12 – Kindergarten – 12th grade.
  • CALL – Computer-Assisted Language Learning
  • CALI – Computer-Assisted Language Instruction
  • L2 = “Language 2” = the language being learned or studied
  • L1 = “Language 1” = the student’s native (primary or first acquired) language.
  • MT = Mother Tongue

Other Abbreviations

  • CALLA = Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach
  • CALP = Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency
  • EST = English for Science and Technology
  • FEP = Fluent English Proficient (or Proficiency)
  • FES = Fluent English Speaker
  • LES = Limited English Speaker
  • LMS = Language Minority Student
  • LSP = Languages for Special Purposes
  • NEP = Non English Proficient (or Proficiency)
  • STT = Student Talking Time
  • TEP = Transitional English Proficiency
  • TL = Target Language
  • TTT = Teacher Talking Time
  • VESL = Vocational English as a Second Language
  • NNEST – Non-Native English Speaking Teacher
  • NNL – Non-Native Language
  • CBT – Computer-Based Teaching
  • EGP – English for general purposes
  • EIP – English as an International Language
  • GPA – Grade Point Average
  • NLP – Neurolinguistic Programming
  • RP – Received Pronunciation – ‘standard’ British pronunciation
  • VE – Vocational English

Associations

  • 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
  • ACTFL = American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (United States of America)
  • APA = American Psychological Association
  • AAAL – American Association for Applied Linguistics
  • BAAL – British Association of Applied Linguistics
  • IPA = International Phonetic Association
  • NATESOL – National Association of Teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languages
  • NATECLA – National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults (UK)

Teaching Certificates, and English Tests

  • BEC – Business English Certificate – Cambridge business English exam certificateBrE – British English
  • CAE – Certificate of Advanced English – the fourth Cambridge Exam Cambridge Exams – The standard in English examination throughout the world outside of the USA (where the TOEFL is preferred).
  • CEIBT – Certificate in English for International Business and Trade for advanced levels.
  • CPE – Certificate of Proficiency in English – the fifth and the most advanced of Cambridge’s series of exams (roughly comparable to a score of 600-650 on the TOEFL).
  • CELTA – Certificate in English language teaching to adults (Cambridge/RSA Teaching Certificate also known as C-TEFLA)
  • ECCE – Exam for the Certificate of Competency in English (Michigan University) – lower level.
  • ECPE – Exam for the Certificate of Proficiency in English (Michigan University) – higher level.
  • FCE – First Certificate in English – the third of Cambridge’s series of exams (comparable to a score of 500 on the TOEFL and 5.7 on the IELTS).
  • RSA/Cambridge C-TEFLA – Certificate of Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults. A professional qualification for prospective EFL teachers.
  • DELTA – Diploma in English language teaching (Cambridge/RSA Language Teaching Scheme)
  • GMAT – Graduate Management Admission Test. The GMAT measures general verbal, mathematical, and analytical writing skills.
  • GRE – Graduate Record Examination – an evaluation test for graduate admission to colleges and universities in the U.S.
  • CEELT – Cambridge Examination in English for Language Teachers. Tests the English competency of non-native teachers of English.
  • TOEIC = Test of English for International Communication
  • TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language – the most common English proficiency exam for North American universities and colleges, also accepted by some British universities and employers as proof of English proficiency.
  • PET – Preliminary English Test – The second of Cambridge’s series of exams.
  • MTELP – Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency
  • KET – Key English Test – The most elementary of Cambridge’s series of exams
  • SAT – Scholastic Assessment (Aptitude) Test – pre-university entrance exam in the USA
  • ELICOS – English Language Intensive Courses to Overseas Students. Government registered centers teaching English to overseas students in Australia.
  • CAT – Computer Adaptive Testing
  • ETS – Educational Testing Service
  • YLE – Young Learners English Tests – Cambridge Examinations for young learners
  • MLAT = The Modern Language Aptitude Test
  • TSE = Test of Spoken English
  • TWE = Test of Written English  

English Language Supervisor,

Amjaad MH.