What is the difference between ESL and EFL?

ESL is abbreviation for English as a Second Language and EFL is abbreviation for English as a Foreign Language.

7 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    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    EFL (English as a Foreign Language (definitely not First, see the Wikipedia link)) is also becoming outdated as it is only useful if the language is not an official language of the country of residence.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.

    Source(s): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESL/ESOL/EFL/ELT 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.
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  • 1 decade ago

    ESL is "English as a Second Language" and it usually means that you study English in an English speaking country, being a student there or an non-English speaking immigrant

    EFL is "English as a Foreign Language" and that means you're studying English in a non-English speaking country (your home country of China for example)

    terms are often used together though with not much difference in meaning

    There's also "ESOL" - English to Speakers of Other Languages






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  • 3 years ago

    What Is Efl

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  • 4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/BEcqZ

    efl i think u know several other languages esl u only know 2

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  • 1 decade ago

    Actually EFL is abbreviated as English as a First Language

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  • 1 decade ago

    ESL is English as a second language meaning you were raised speaking and reading another language. For example Spanish. Then you are trying to learn English, making it your second language.

    EFL is English as the first language. You were raised speaking and reading English.

    I have never heard of EFL being English as a foreign language.

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  • 1 decade ago

    They sort of mean the same thing, but generally nowadays EFL is preferred.

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