Must know ESL terms and terminology when working with English Language Learners ELLs
Have you ever been confused after having a conversation with a colleague or administrator about one of your English Language Learners (ELLs)? Did some of the English as a Second Language (ESL) acronyms or phrases confuse you when teaching, discussing, and/or sharing information about English Learners?
You are not alone.
There are so many terms in education and they are constantly shifting.
I have compiled a list of terms to help wade through the confusion. This is just a beginning ELL glossary, so to start with, here is some must-know ESL terminology.
Terminology when referring to students:
English Language Learner (ELL) ~
refers to students who are learning English as a second language. It includes anyone who doesn’t speak English fluently or who is still acquiring English.
Limited English Proficient (LEP) ~
refers to a student’s language level. LEP was employed for years to label children as English Learners. Now replaced by terms like ELL.
Early Childhood English Language Learner (ECELL) ~
refers to a student below age 5 who is acquiring English as a second language.
Language minority (LM) ~
refers to a student from a family where a language other than English is spoken. It does not signify how well the student speaks or understands English.
Terminology when referring to programs:
Content-based E.S.L. ~
refers to a model of language education using content curriculum, activities, study skills, and strategies of second language learning to teach English.
English as a Second Language (ESL) ~
refers to English language programs (push in and pull out) that focus on instruction in English to English Learners.
English to Speakers of Other Languages(ESOL) ~
refers to language courses at the elementary and secondary levels. It can be also used with Adult ESL classes.
English for Specific Purposes (ESP) ~
refers to instruction in or the learning of English for a certain segment of business or a particular career.
Immersion Method ~
refers to a program model where children are submerged in English. The English learner is put in English classes without a model, program, or any structure in place to learn English. The English learner is to learn English by being surrounded by or immersed in the language.
Technology Enhanced Language Learning (TELL) ~
refers to a method of teaching and learning English using a variety of technology and electronic media.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) ~
refers to a teacher training program for teachers of English as a Foreign Language.
Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) ~
refers to teacher education programs to teach English as a Second Language.
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) ~
refers to specific education for teachers who teach English language learners. This can also refer to the professional tests to certify a teacher in ESL.
I hope this list will help you out in your next conversation about English Language Learners or ESL programs!