Difference Between TEFL and TESOL with Proper Definition and Brief Explanation


Since both TEFL and TESOL are certifications for English teachers, it is helpful to know the difference between them. It has become very popular these days for teaching English in countries where it is not a native language. Teaching English is not only a noble profession, but it also offers a profitable career for those who are fluent in English and pass international exams designed to assess a person’s proficiency in this language.

If you think you have the ability to become a good English teacher (ELT), what you need is to pass any international level certification. Two certifications that can be seen everywhere in the form of advertisements these days are TEFL and TESOL. What are these tests and how are they different? We are going to discover the differences between the two so that you can make a better decision when it comes to taking and passing an exam. The distinction between the two is blurring and there is often an overlap between the content of the two certifications.

What is Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)?

TEFL is an abbreviation for the test that assesses a candidate’s ability to teach English. Those who pass this test are considered qualified to teach students whose first language is not English. There are many countries in the world where English is neither spoken nor understood. Also, you would be surprised to know that people in those countries are more than eager to gain practical knowledge in English and then acquire the competence to be able to obtain opportunities abroad in multinational companies.

What is teaching English to speakers of other languages ​​(TESOL)?

TESOL results are now being recognized in many countries. TESOL does not make any difference between foreign language or second language and is therefore a preferred test for teaching students whose native language is not English.

What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL?

If you are a citizen of the United States and interested in teaching the language to citizens of other countries, it can be difficult to choose one of the two tests.

• TESOL is more common in the United States, while TEFL is popular in Great Britain.

• TESOL refers to all students whose first language is not English, and that includes minorities living in the United States, while TEFL refers only to foreign students.

• There is also a school of thought that says that TEFL is associated with teaching students in their home country, while TESOL is associated with teaching students who have settled in countries where English is the native language.

For those who offer jobs based on TEFL and TESOL test results, there is practically no difference between the two tests. Jobs that require TESOL as a qualification easily accept TEFL certification and make no difference between the two certifications.



• TEFL and TESOL are certifications required by those who aspire to be teachers of English for those whose first language is not English.

• For all practical purposes, there is no difference between the results of the two tests and they are readily accepted by those offering jobs in foreign countries.

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