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Difference Between TEFL and TESOL

Difference Between TEFL and TESOL

Are you intrigued by teaching English abroad but struggling to make sense of the different acronyms? Have no fear; we are here to explain exactly what TEFL and TESOL mean and help you understand the key differences between them. With our tips, you’ll be able to hone in on which of these two paths is ideal for your career goals. Continue reading this blog post if you’d like an informative guide on all things TEFL vs TESOL!

What is TEFL?

TEFL, or Teaching English as a Foreign Language, is an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling job that allows foreign language teachers to share the beauty of their language with diverse students from all over the world.

  • TEFL teachers need to be passionate about teaching, knowledgeable about English grammar and usage, and willing to adapt lessons to meet their students’ specific needs.
  • TEFL teachers must also be creative in the way they approach material; while TEFL instruction has its standards and guidelines, TEFL practitioners often need to use games, visuals, hands-on tasks and activities, and other motivating approaches to keep students engaged.
  • TEFL offers anyone who enjoys teaching the opportunity to do so abroad – either in person or online – giving them the chance to share their expertise in a new setting while connecting with diverse cultures and learning experiences.

What is TESOL?

TESOL, or Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, is an invaluable skill set for anyone interested in the field of education. TESOL educators provide instruction and guidance to speakers of other languages with the ultimate goal of enabling their students to become successful bilingual professionals.

TESOL involves a unique blend of language instruction expertise, cultural understanding, and critical thinking that enable TESOL educators to meet the educational needs of learners from diverse backgrounds and cultures. TESOL instructors have a tremendous opportunity to help people discover new levels of linguistic and cultural proficiency as well as personal growth, making TESOL a rewarding profession for those up for the challenge.

Difference Between TEFL and TESOL

TEFL and TESOL are acronyms for two types of English teaching credentials.

  • TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and refers to teaching English in a non-English speaking country.
  • TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and covers many aspects such as second language acquisition, linguistics, applied linguistics, and assessment.
  • TEFL focuses primarily on the teaching methods used to help foreign students learn English while TESOL looks more at the theory behind language instruction.

TEFL is a great starting point for those wanting an introduction to the field of language education, while TESOL is geared more toward professionals looking to gain in-depth knowledge of language learning and develop research skills.


TEFL and TESOL are acronyms that stand for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). They are both qualifications that certify an individual’s ability to teach English language learners. The main difference between the two is that TEFL is geared towards teaching students who are learning English in a foreign country, while TESOL can be used to teach students of all levels in any setting, including within their home country. If you are looking to become certified to teach English as a second language, it is important to understand the distinction between these two qualifications and choose the one that best suits your needs.

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