ESL Teaching Materials


Academic Writing 1
Academic Writing 2
Writing for Research Purposes
Course Outlines
Course Outline 1
Course Outline 2
Course Outline 3
Course Outline 4
Course Outline 5
Course Outline 6
Course Outline 7
Test 1
Test 2
Test 3
Test 4
Basic Rules of Writing
Writing a Personal Statement
Reference Desk
ESL Jobs
Make your Start-up Page
About me
What is the difference between an acronym and an initialism?

Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations formed from the initial letter or letters of words, such as TOEIC and CALL and are pronounced in a way that is distinct from the full pronunciation of what the letters stand for.


Of the two words, acronym is the much more frequently used and known, and many dictionaries, speakers and writers refer to all abbreviations formed from initial letters as acronyms. However, some still differentiate between acronyms and initialisms: an acronym was originally a pronounceable word formed from the initial letter or letters of the constituent words, such as NATO or RADAR from RAdio Detection And Ranging, while an initialism referred to an abbreviation pronounced as the names of the individual letters, such as ESP. The distinction is quickly becoming obsolete: although conservative commentators continue to decry the loss of the distinction in style guides and elsewhere, the word acronym is used nearly universally for both meanings [ ].



Commonly Used Acronyms Related to TESL

CALL = Computer Assisted Language Learning

EFL = English as a Foreign Language (Studying English in non-English-speaking countries)

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.)

L1 = "Language 1" = the student's native (primary or first acquired) language.

L2 = "Language 2" = the language being learned or studied

TEFL = Teaching English as a Foreign Language

TESL = Teaching English as a Second Language

TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (It is also the name of an association, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc.)

ESOL = English for Speakers of other languages

EAL = English as an additional language

TOEFL = Test of English as a Foreign Language

TOEIC = Test of English for International Communication

5W's = Who, What, Where, When and Why

CBI = Content Based Instruction

EAP = English for Academic Purposes

EIL = English as an International Language

ELF = English as a lingua franca

EOP = English for Occupational Purposes

ELL = English Language Learner

ELT = English Language Teaching (or sometimes Training)

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.)

ESP = English for Specific Purposes / English for Special Purposes

FLT = Foreign Language Teaching

IEP = Intensive English program

IPA = International Phonetic Alphabet (or Association)

LCD projector

LEP = Limited English Proficiency (or Proficient)

LL = Language Lab

NNS = Non-Native Speaker

NS = Native Speaker

OHP = Overhead Projector

SLA = Second Language Acquisition

TPR = Total Physical Response

BE = Bilingual Education

CALLA = Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach

CALP = Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency

CELTA = Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults

CLL = Community Language Learning

CLT = Communicative Language Teaching

CPE = Cambridge Proficiency Examination

ELL = English Language Learner

ESP = English for Special (Specific) Purposes

EST = English for Science and Technology

FEP = Fluent English Proficient (or Proficiency)

FES = Fluent English Speaker

GTM = Grammar Translation Method

LEP = Limited English Proficiency

LES = Limited English Speaker

LMS = Language Minority Student

LSP = Languages for Special Purposes

MLAT = The Modern Language Aptitude Test

NEP = Non English Proficient (or Proficiency)

OHP = Over Head Projector

SLA = Second Language Acquisition

STT = Student Talking Time

TEP = Transitional English Proficiency

TL = Target Language

TPR = Total Physical Response

TSE = Test of Spoken English

TTT = Teacher Talking Time

TWE = Test of Written English

VESL = Vocational English as a Second Language



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

IATEFL = International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language

ACTFL = American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (United States of America)

APA = American Psychological Association


Find more acronyms here...

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Computer Assisted Language Teaching