Home / Teach English / TESOL VS. TEFL


TESOL means “Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, which is essentially the same thing as TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language). The difference comes in when referring to where you are teaching. TESOL encompasses TEFL and TESL but is usually used to accentuate the needs of English learners who will use English in their daily lives. In other words, TESOL is used for people with different mother-tongues who are living in English speaking countries. Several countries like India consider English as their official language in business, government, newspapers, TV and other media. English is also one the main aspects of education in schools and universities.
The TEFL is for English learners who live in a country where English is not spoken on a daily basis. China, France and Russia are countries where TEFL would be taught because English is not their official language. The TEFL program is fully explained in the article, “What is TEFL”.

Differences in Class

TEFL Learners
• Optional cultural studies
• Special English learning atmosphere in class ( due to lack of English in their everyday environment)
• Cultural studies are optional
• Activities based around likes, dislikes, fun hobbies etc.

TESOL Learners
• Activities based on life skills
• Tasks based communicative building
• Cultural studies are extremely important because many student’s goal is to become citizens
• Business English focus
• Field trips and live interactions with the English speaking outside world
Both TESOL and TEFL have the same types of programs when it comes to getting certified to teach. If you are considering a career in English teaching, you should look at what type of environment you would like to teach in. If you want to teach in an English speaking country then TESOL may be the right choice for you. If you would like to travel the world while teaching, then TEFL certifications will be the best route to take. Teaching is a rewarding job in any country that its done in, be sure to research which type of certification would be best for you.

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