English as a foreign or second language : English as a foreign or second language English as a foreign or second language : English as a foreign or second language ESL (English as a second language), ESOL (English for speakers of other languages), and EFL (English as a foreign language) all refer to the use or study of English by speakers with different native languages . The precise usage, including the different use of the terms ESL and ESOL in different countries, is described below. These terms are most commonly used in relation to teaching and learning English, but they may also be used in relation to demographic information. ELT (English language teaching) is a widely-used teacher- centred term, as in the English language teaching divisions of large publishing houses, ELT training, etc. The abbreviations TESL (teaching English as a second language), TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) and TEFL ( teaching English as a foreign language ) are also used. Other terms used in this field include EAL (English as an additional language), EIL ( English as an international language ), ELF (English as a lingua franca ), ESP (English for special purposes, or English for specific purposes ), EAP ( English for academic purposes ). Some terms that refer to those who are learning English are ELL ( English language learner ), LEP (limited English proficiency) and CLD (culturally and linguistically diverse). Terminology and types : Terminology and types The many acronyms and abbreviations used in the field of English teaching and learning may be confusing. English is a language with great reach and influence; it is taught all over the world under many different circumstances. In English-speaking countries, English language teaching has essentially evolved in two broad directions: instruction for people who intend to live in an English-speaking country and for those who don't. These divisions have grown firmer as the instructors of these two "industries" have used different terminology , followed distinct training qualifications, formed separate professional associations , and so on. Crucially, these two arms have very different funding structures, public in the former and private in the latter, and to some extent this influences the way schools are established and classes are held. Difficulties for learners : Difficulties for learners Language teaching practice often assumes that most of the difficulties that learners face in the study of English are a consequence of the degree to which their native language differs from English (. A native speaker of Chinese , for example, may face many more difficulties than a native speaker of German , because German is closely related to English, whereas Chinese is not. This may be true for anyone of any mother tongue . Pronunciation : Pronunciation Consonant phonemes English does not have more individual consonant sounds than most languages. However, the interdentals , /θ/ and /ð/ (the sounds written with th ), which are common in English ( thin , thing , etc.; and the , this , that , etc.) are relatively rare in other languages, even others in the Germanic family ( e.g., English thousand = German tausend ), and these sounds are missing even in some English dialects. Some learners substitute a [t] or [d] sound, while others shift to [s] or [z], [f] or [v] and even [ ts ] or [ dz ]. Speakers of Japanese , Korean , Chinese and Thai may have difficulty distinguishing [ɹ] and [l]. Speakers of Xiang Chinese may have a similar difficulty distinguishing [n] and [l]. The distinction between [b] and [v] can cause difficulty for native speakers of Spanish , Arabic , Japanese and Korean. Vowel phonemes : Vowel phonemes The precise number of distinct vowel sounds depends on the variety of English: for example, Received Pronunciation has twelve monophthongs (single or "pure" vowels), eight diphthongs (double vowels) and two triphthongs (triple vowels) Many learners, such as speakers of Spanish , Japanese or Arabic , have fewer vowels, or only pure ones, in their mother tongue and so may have problems both with hearing and with pronouncing these distinctions. Syllable structure: Syllable structure In its syllable structure , English allows for a cluster of up to three consonants before the vowel and four after it. The syllable structure causes problems for speakers of many other languages. Unstressed vowels -: Unstressed vowels - Native English speakers frequently replace almost any vowel in an unstressed syllable with an unstressed vowel. In some cases, unstressed vowels may disappear altogether, in words. Stress in English more strongly determines vowel quality than it does in most other world languages. For example, in some varieties the syllables an , en , in , on and un are pronounced as homophones , that is, exactly alike. Native speakers can usually distinguish an able , enable , and unable because of their position in a sentence, but this is more difficult for inexperienced English speakers. Moreover, learners tend to overpronounce these unstressed vowels, giving their speech an unnatural rhythm. Stress timing : Stress timing English tends to be a stress-timed language - this means that stressed syllables are roughly equidistant in time, no matter how many syllables come in between. Although some other languages, e.g., German and Russian , are also stress-timed, most of the world's other major languages are syllable-timed , with each syllable coming at an equal time after the previous one. Learners from these languages often have a staccato rhythm when speaking English that is disconcerting to a native speaker. Slide 10: "Stress for emphasis" - students' own languages may not use stress for emphasis as English does. "Stress for contrast" - stressing the right word or expression. This may not come easily to some non-native speakers. "Emphatic apologies" - the normally unstressed auxiliary is stressed (I really am very sorry) n English there are quite a number of words - about fifty - that have two different pronunciations, depending on whether they are stressed. They are "grammatical words": pronouns, prepositions, auxiliary verbs and conjunctions. Most students tend to overuse the strong form, which is pronounced with the written vowel. Grammar : Grammar Tense, aspect, and mood - English has a relatively large number of tense–aspect–mood forms with some quite subtle differences, such as the difference between the simple past "I ate" and the present perfect "I have eaten." Progressive and perfect progressive forms add complexity. Slide 12: Functions of auxiliaries - Learners of English tend to find it difficult to manipulate the various ways in which English uses auxiliary verbs . A further complication is that the dummy auxiliary verb do / does / did is added to fulfill these functions in the simple present and simple past, but not for the verb to be . Slide 13: Modal verbs - English also has a significant number of modal auxiliary verbs which each have a number of uses. This complexity takes considerable work for most English language learners to master. Slide 14: Idiomatic usage - English is reputed to have a relatively high degree of idiomatic usage. For example, the use of different main verb forms in such apparently parallel constructions as "try to learn", "help learn", and "avoid learning" pose difficulty for learners. Another example is the idiomatic distinction between "make" and "do": "make a mistake", not "do a mistake"; and "do a favor", not "make a favor". Slide 15: Articles - English has an appreciable number of articles , including the "the" definite article and the "a, an" indefinite article . At times English nouns can or indeed must be used without an article; this is called the zero article . Some of the differences between definite, indefinite and zero article are fairly easy to learn, but others are not, particularly since a learner's native language may lack articles or use them in different ways than English does. Although the information conveyed by articles is rarely essential for communication, English uses them frequently (several times in the average sentence), so that they require some effort from the learner. Vocabulary : Vocabulary Phrasal verbs - Phrasal verbs in English can cause difficulties for many learners because they have several meanings and different syntactic patterns. Word derivation - Word derivation in English requires a lot of rote learning or through the use of one of a myriad related but rarer prefixes, all modified versions of the first four. Slide 17: Size of lexicon - The history of English has resulted in a very large vocabulary, essentially one stream from Old English and one from the Norman infusion of Latin -derived terms. This inevitably requires more work for a learner to master the language. Collocations - Collocations in English refer to the tendency for words to occur regularly with others.. Native speakers tend to use chunks of collocations and the ESL learners make mistakes with collocations in their writing/speaking which sometimes results in awkwardness. Slide 18: Slang and Colloquialisms In most native English speaking countries, large numbers of slang and colloquial terms are used in everyday speech. Many learners may find that classroom based English is significantly different from how English is spoken in normal situations. This can often be difficult and confusing for learners with little experience of using English in Anglophone countries. Also, slang terms differ greatly between different regions and can change quickly in response to popular culture. Some phrases can become unintentionally rude if misused. Differences between spoken and written English : Differences between spoken and written English Slide 20: Spelling : probably the biggest difficulty for non-native speakers since English spelling doesn't follow the alphabetic principle consistently. Because of the many changes in pronunciation which have occurred since a written standard developed, the retention of many historical idiosyncrasies in spelling , and the large influx of foreign words with different and overlapping spelling patterns.English spelling is difficult even for native speakers to master. This difficulty is shown in such activities as spelling bees that generally require the memorization of words. The generalizations that exist are quite complex and there are many exceptions leading to a considerable amount of rote learning . The spelling system causes problems in both directions - a learner may know a word by sound but not be able to write it correctly, or they may see a word written but not know how to pronounce it or mislearn the pronunciation. Slide 21: Teaching English therefore involves not only helping the student to use the form of English most suitable for his purposes, but also exposure to regional forms and cultural styles so that the student will be able to discern meaning even when the words, grammar or pronunciation are different to the form of English he is being taught to speak. Slide 22: The English language is nobody's special property. It is the property of the imagination: it is the property of the language itself. it all ends here . …. . We are the group I . . . . .