Is it TEFL or TESOL?

GREAT Pay

The schools we work with provide the most lucrative compensation packages in the industry. Live great and save extra money!

Learn More

Most options

Great schools nationwide with options for Professional, Experienced and beginner teachers in almost every subject!

Learn More

Outstanding Support

A personal placement consultant as your sole point of contact through the whole process.

Learn More

TEFL Certification

Study in-class or get your on-line certification for FREE from Teaching Nomad!

Learn More

Is it TEFL or TESOL?

To be perfectly honest, they mean the exact same thing! The two major differences between these terms are 1. The name and 2. the geographic region where the English learners live. Let me explain.

Let’s tackle the differences:
 

Difference #1:

TESOL and TEFL clearly look different, and that’s because they describe the term of teaching English to non-speakers differently.Untitled

TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages whereas TEFL describes it a bit more short and sweet:

TEFL = Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Difference #2:

You either study TEFL or TESOL depending on if the country where you study it is an English speaking country or not. Additionally, you'll learn TESOL if you're in Australia and the US and TEFL is used in the UK.

We admit, it can be pretty confusing. To make it a bit easier, we'll briefly explain some of the history.

Generally there are two main schools of English study:

ESL = English as a Second Language

EFL = English as a Foreign Language 

Learners of English as a Second Language are those who need to speak English every day because they live an English speaking country. Learners of English as a Foreign Language only learn English for their hobbies, travels, or business. They don’t have to use English on a daily basis.

Moving back to TESOL and TEFL. It’s clear why it is called TEFL – it’s Teaching EFL. Why then is there a difference in TESOL? There were Australian professionals who felt that English as a Second Language was demeaning and not exactly descriptive. They changed the acronym to TESOL – focusing more on the person learning English rather than the function of their learning. TESOL – Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages – is much more descriptive and easily can apply to those learning English as a pastime, or because they need it on a day-to-day basis because they live in an English speaking country.

It all seems a little confusing, doesn’t it? The most important thing to keep in mind is that TEFL and TESOL training refer to the exact same thing! A TEFL certificate or a TESOL certificate will both give you the qualification you need to teach English overseas.







Nomad stories

5 Chinese Ghosts to Watch Out for this October

5 Chinese Ghosts to Watch Out for…

   1. Jiangshi 僵屍  The jiangshi is a cross between a vampire...

24 Oct 2016

A Day in the Life of an ESL teacher in China

A Day in the Life of an…

      Yes – that’s right 10am, and this is on a...

29 Sep 2016

Why Do I Still Teach ESL?

Why Do I Still Teach ESL?

Before teaching English in China, I was working in Chicago....

27 Sep 2016

Preparing for the UAE

Preparing for the UAE

Congratulations on getting your new job in the UAE! We know...

27 Jul 2016

Getting Your Teaching License

Getting Your Teaching License

If you're looking to turn teaching into a career or...

27 Jul 2016

2016 Guide to Banking in China

2016 Guide to Banking in China

Banking in China - updated August, 2016 The Chinese currency is...

27 Jul 2016

Air Pollution in China

Air Pollution in China

For many people, coming to China for the first time...

27 Jul 2016

6 Questions to Consider Before Teaching Abroad in the Middle East

6 Questions to Consider Before Teaching Abroad…

With one of the highest concentrations of international schools, the...

20 Jul 2016

Happy Teaching Nomads

  • Kimmi, USA Placed in Shanghai

    I truly appreciate all the work that Teaching Nomad did upon arriving to Shanghai. Teaching Nomad helped with everything else once I landed, from paperwork to directions. Everyone at the agency is wonderful and extremely helpful and welcoming.
  • Rafael, USA Placed in Shanghai

    Teaching Nomad was by far the easiest process I have gone through. I was able to get all the information I needed to continue with the job application. It was quick, efficient, friendly, and effective (I got the job).
  • Andrew, USA Placed in Shanghai

    I didn't know what professionalism was until I started working with Teaching Nomad. They have always responded to my questions and comment promptly and in a friendly manner. With Teaching Nomad I have truly found my dream contract.
  • Elsie,SA Placed in Shanghai

    Teaching Nomad helped me at a time in my life when I needed to make a positive career move. They helped me find a position in which I feel challenged, motivated and where I have the opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge as a teacher.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4


Teaching Nomad is your connection to teaching in Asia & The Middle East! We are a western owned and operated teacher placement agency based in Shanghai. We take a lot of pride in connecting teachers with great teaching opportunities.

 

Jobs on WeChat

wechat QR code

Newsletter

Contact Us

   Kangding Road No. 1018, Yi Ge Building, Third Floor, Suite 306 Shanghai, Prc

 (0086) 21 8031 8819

 www.teachingnomad.com