What should every ESL teacher know?
English as an additional language is used to refer to the learning
of English by speakers of other languages. The term is commonly abbreviated to EAL. In British usage, this is also simply
called English language teaching or ELT. EAL covers both ESL - English as a second language, and EFL - English as a foreign
language (although, in fact, there is a difference between ESL and EFL). In British usage, ESOL - English for Speakers of
other languages - is now used instead of ESL in recognition of the fact that many learners already speak more than one language.
ESL refers to the learning of English within an English-speaking region, generally by refugees,
immigrants and students. The term has been criticised on the grounds that English might not in fact be the learner's second
language, though the word "a" in the phrase "a second language" means that there is no presumption that English is the second
acquired language. EFL indicates the learning of English for eventual use in a non-English-speaking region. It can occur either
in the student's home country or, for the more privileged minority, in an anglophone country which they visit as a sort of
educational tourist, e.g. after graduating from university back home.
For the above reasons, many teachers of English as a foreign language now emphasize
teaching English as an international language (EIL), also known as English as a lingua franca (ELF).
English for Academic Purposes (EAP) is the teaching of English with the specific aim of helping
learners to study, conduct research or teach in that language. It is an international activity of tremendous scope. The number
of international students who come from non-English speaking backgrounds to countries in which English is the first language
is on the rise, necessitating the provision of EAP courses to prepare such students to study in English-speaking institutions
EAP is normally considered to be one of two branches of English for Specific Purposes (ESP), the
other being EOP (English for Occupational Purposes). Each of these major branches is then subdivided according to the disciplines
or occupations with which it is concerned. Thus, EAP may be separated into English for Economics, English for Biology, English
for Chemistry, English for Research, etc., and EOP branches out into English for Lawyers, English for Doctors, English for
Hotel Employees, etc.
For companies ESP training is English instruction for specific workplace needs. It helps companies and their non-native English
speaking employees improve job productivity and job satisfaction as well as reduce job turnover and prepare employees for
ESP workforce tis customized for the unique needs and circumstances of each company. Employees,
supervisors, and top-level management are included in a needs analysis in order to identify key objectives for the training.
For individuals ESP training is English instruction for professionals in medicine, law, the sciences, and the humanities. On
campus, this training helps medical residents, post-doctoral researchers, faculty, and other non-native speakers of English.
Training is based on the needs of each person for interacting with English speakers in the field or practice. ESP concentrates
more on language in context than on teaching grammar and language structures. It covers subjects varying from accounting or
computer science to tourism and business management. The ESP focal point is that English is not taught as a subject separated
from the students' real world (or wishes); instead, it is integrated into a subject matter area important to the learners.
However, ESL and ESP diverge not only in the nature of the learner, but also in the aim of instruction.
In fact, as a general rule, while in ESL all four language skills; listening, reading, speaking, and writing, are stressed
equally, in ESP it is a needs analysis that determines which language skills are most needed by the students, and the syllabus
is designed accordingly. An ESP program, might, for example, emphasize the development of reading skills in students who are
preparing for graduate work in business administration; or it might promote the development of spoken skills in students who
are studying English in order to become tourist guides.