LTTLA: Language Teaching, Testing and Learning Acronyms

You might be confused by the all the abbreviations you see connected with teaching English. To start off with here are the most common abbreviations that you will surely already know about Studing English:

E is for English and L Language

but we can have three acronyms if you study them:

EFL-English as a Foreign Language. Used when a non-native English speaker is studying English in a non-English speaking country.

ESL-English as a Second Language. Used when a non-native-English speaker is studying English in an English-speaking country.

ESOL-English for Speakers of Other Languages. This term is more recent and is intended to be a more inclusive term (includes ESL and EFL).

T is for Teaching

If we add T + EFL: TEFL is the teaching of English as a foreign language; note that this sort of instruction can take place in any country, although TESL (teaching English as a second language) are often confused. The difference is, theoretically, that TEFL (or EFL) is teaching English outside of the English-speaking world, while TESL (or ESL) is teaching English to non-English speakers within an English-speaking country.

TESOL is a more inclusive term for teaching  ESL and EFL.

T is for TEST

TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language – the most common English proficiency exam for North American universities and colleges, also accepted by some British universities and employers as proof of English proficiency.

TOEIC – The TOEIC (pronounced “toe-ick”) is a Test of English for International Communication.

Trinity College London ESOL offers the Integrated Skills in English (ISE) series of 5 exams which assesses reading, writing, speaking and listening and is accepted by academic institutions in the UK.

Cambridge English Language Assessment offers a suite of eighteen globally available examinations including General English: Key English Test (KET), Preliminary English Test(PET), First Certificate in English (FCE), Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) and Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Cambridge English Test

IELTS – International English Language Testing System

London Tests of English from Pearson Language Tests, a series of six exams each mapped to a level from the Common European Framework (CEFR) – see below.

Common European Framework (CEFR) .

Here are some more important abbreviations related to teaching, teaching certificates, and English exams:

BC – British Council

BEC – Business English Certificate – Cambridge business English exam certificate BrE – British English

CELTA – Certificate in English language teaching to adults (Cambridge/RSA Teaching Certificate also known as C-TEFLA)

DELTA – Diploma in English language teaching (Cambridge/RSA Language Teaching Scheme)

K12 – Kindergarten – 12th grade.

KET – Key English Test – The most elementary of Cambridge’s series of exams

L1 – Language 1 – native language  L2 – Language 2 – the language you are learning

MT – Mother Tongue

RP – Received Pronunciation – ‘standard’ British pronunciation

YLE – Young Learners English Tests – Cambridge Examinations for young learners

Wordle Applet Acronyms

Related Articles

Young Learners English (YLE)

Cambridge English: Young Learners, also known as Young  Learners English (YLE), is a series of fun, activity-based English  language tests specially designed for children. Schools all over  the world use these tests to motivate children to learn English and show the progress they are making.

Specially designed for 7–12 year-olds to increase their motivation to learn English. Tests children’s reading, writing, listening and speaking  based on realistic everyday situations.

There are three levels – Starters, Movers and Flyers. All Cambridge English tests are aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).

YLE scale

The Flyers Test is roughly equivalent to the Cambridge English Test: Key (KET), in terms of difficulty but the lexis and contexts covered are suitable for young children.

There are different parts of YLE Starters:

  • Listening 4 parts: 20 questions, approx. 20 minutes
  • Reading and Writing 5 parts: 25 questions,  20 minutes
  • Speaking 5 parts: 3–5 minutes

The overall lenght for Starters Test is about 45 minutes.

If you want to find more informatian about this exam, try this link:

http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/images/24619-starters-information-for-candidates-en-.pdf

Exam Materials

All materials which relate to this exam:

Exam Handbook

Sample papers for Starters

Sample papers for Flyers and Movers:

Games

Encourage your learners with fun vocabulary practice using these interactive games.

Activities

Extend and consolidate your lessons with this selection of interactive activities.

 

The Common European Framework

As teachers, we need to know a way to specify what our learners are able to do at certain levels, how these levels can guide our teaching and the way we select course books and resources. In short, we need a common language by which we can describe language learning, teaching, and assessment.

In most countries there is general agreement that language learning can be organized into three levels: basic/beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

But, what you mean by intermediate. What is an intermediate level? What does intermediate mean to you as a teacher and to your learners? What does intermediate refer to? To the amount of vocabulary, to the grammar items, to how a learner communicates or at what level understands. Consider how you would describe to a learner what you mean by intermediate. How can we assess a learner’s achievement at an intermediate level if we don’t define exactly what we mean by intermediate? …

Furthermore, levels can mean different things among different institutions and in different countries. Can we directly compare the proficiency level of an advanced English student to that of an advanced Spanish student? …

How do we establish international standards for learning, teaching, and assessment for all modern European languages?

The answers to all this questions is the CEF. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages(CEF): Learning, Teaching, Assessment published by the Council of Europe (Language Policy Division ) in 2001.

The Common European Framework describes what a learner can do at six specific levels: from A1 to C2:

  • Basic User (A1 and A2)
  • Independent User (B1and B2)
  • Proficient User (C1 and C2)

For each level, the full CEF document complements this by describing in depth:

  • Competencies necessary for effective communication.
  • Skills and knowledge related to language learning and competencies.
  • Situations (people, place, time, organization, etc.) and contexts (study, work, social, tourism, etc.) in which communication takes place.

Common reference levels are based on statements of what a learner can do at each level. The Global Scale is based on a set of statements that describe what a learner can do. The “can do” statements are always positive: they describe what a learner is able to do, not what a learner cannot do or does wrong.

The following table describes each of the six levels of the Global Scale.

levels-chart

However, the CEF is more than the Global Scale. The CEF goes further by breaking down the

Global Scale into more descriptive scales covering three areas of communication:

  • Understanding (Listening and Reading)
  • Speaking (Spoken Interaction and Spoken Production)
  • Writing

The CEF deliberately does not refer to grammar or structures. It is designed to describe how language users communicate and how they understand written and spoken texts. As it is used to describe and compare European languages, we cannot hope to provide a detailed list of grammar structures.

In its own words, the CEF “provides a common basis for the elaboration of language syllabuses, curriculum guidelines, examinations, textbooks, etc.” (CEF: 2001: 1)

Links:

Niveles de competencia lingüística

CEFR (pdf)

External links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_European_Framework_of_Reference_for_Languages

http://www.cambridgeesol.org/about/standards/can-do.html

http://www.examenglish.com/CEFR/cefr.php

Jimenez, Carlos César (2011). El Marco Europeo Común de Referencia para las Lenguas y la comprensión teórica del conocimiento del lenguaje: exploración de una normatividad flexible para emprender acciones educativas