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What are EFL and ESL?

February 6, 2014

So you’re thinking of becoming an English teacher. More specifically an English teacher to non-native speakers of the language. You may notice two different terms associated with English language teaching that keep popping up from time to time: ESL (English as a Second or Subsequent Language) and EFL (English as a Foreign Language).

For a lot of people EFL is a term that they may have heard of but aren’t overly familiar with, and I know that I’m often asked what exactly it is. It’s also commonly confused with ESL, which is similar, but not the same.

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