Monday, March 31, 2014


I've written a blog post before about the difference between the acronyms ESL, ELL, ESOL, etc. (It can be accessed here.) This particular post has proven to be one of my most popular posts, standing as one of my most-accessed posts found organically via internet searches. Having a background in linguistics, however, I'm not naive to the fact that with time, terminology trends change. So, I'm curious: Which acronym/s do you use most often to refer to your non-native English speaking students? Take my poll at the right to share your opinion! I'll post the results after I close the poll at the end of the month.


  1. What about ELF? English Lingua Franca?

    1. Good point. I've heard ELF in action when I was in Hong Kong and I heard two non-native English speakers communicating in English at the night market negotiating the cost of an item for sale. ELF is not as commonly used in academic contexts as the others mentioned in the blog post, so it was excluded from the list; however, ELF should be acknowledged as a relevant term that may be used when talking about English used by non-native English speakers. Thank you for leaving a comment.

  2. We are increasingly hearing the acronym,"EAL/D" in Australia, specifically in the P-12 sector.
    As "English as an Additional Language or Dialect", it acknowledges that many of our learners are not learning a second language but a fourth or sixth language, and it also acknowledges that the Non-Standard form of English spoken by indigenous peoples are sufficiently different to Standard Australian English to be identified as dialects because of their grammatical, lexical and phonological differences, and to be respected for these differences.

  3. Very interesting input. Thank you so much for sharing!