It's just a matter of semantics.
ESL (English as a Second Language) is mostly out of use as it is only appropriate where the student has only one other language, which is not always the case.
EFL (English as a Foreign Language (definitely not First, see the Wikipedia link)) is also becoming outdated as it is only useful if the language is not an official language of the country of residence.
The Term EAL (English as an Additional Language) is more encompassing as it applies to the maximum number of situations.
English as a FOREIGN Language:- perhaps people who did not know assumed it to be English as a First Language, but this is incorrect. I've worked in Australia and several places in Europe, it is always Foreign Language, although EAL is a more modern initialism.
· 1 decade ago