What is ESOL?

Learning and mastering the English language has become extremely important in the last decades:
  • for those who want to read the most important publications
  • for immigrants looking for a job
  • if you want to get the latest news from the most important printed and online publications
  • for politicians, businessmen, artists, keen travellers etc.
Not only is English useful, but it also gives you a lot of satisfaction. There is one problem though; due to the social changes, English grammar and vocabulary are changing. Consequently, learners need to regularly refresh their skills to keep up with the English language.
As an English learner or teacher you might find it hard to understand the acronyms and abbreviations related to this activity. The definitions for the most often used ones and many more will definitely help you become familiar with the terminology.

EFL - teaching English as a Foreign Language to a non-native speaker in a non-English country.
ELT - English Language Teaching
TESOL - teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language , first designed for students applying for American universities.

ESOL - English for Speakers of Other Languages
Both children and adults take ESOL courses, if they need to learn quickly and efficiently for academic purposes or different fields of activity. Participants in such programmes are taught not only reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, but they are also introduced to the culture and traditions of the English-speaking countries.

 CEFR - the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages was designed as a standard syllabus, curriculum and proficiency assessment guidelines. It is now used in Europe, Canada and the USA.
Its aim is to improve the quality and coherence of language learning, teaching and assessment worldwide.

The above information is just an introduction to the basics in ESOL preparation that experienced teachers are already familiar with. Parents and beginning teachers will find useful the table on the correlation to CEFR, the articles and projects by the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations and the National Geographic Learning.

Eight key competences = a reference tool for European Union They are fundamental for each individual as they provide flexibility and adaptability and are necessary for personal and professional fulfillment, social inclusion, competitiveness and productivity. This framework defines eight key competences and describes the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes related to each of these.
 These key competences are:
communication in the mother tongue, which is the ability to express and interpret concepts, thoughts, feelings, facts and opinions in both oral and written form (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and to interact linguistically in an appropriate and creative way in a full range of societal and cultural contexts;
communication in foreign languages, which involves, in addition to the main skill dimensions of communication in the mother tongue, mediation and intercultural understanding. The level of proficiency depends on several factors and the capacity for listening, speaking, reading and writing;
mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology. Mathematical competence is the ability to develop and apply mathematical thinking in order to solve a range of problems in everyday situations, with the emphasis being placed on process, activity and knowledge. Basic competences in science and technology refer to the mastery, use and application of knowledge and methodologies that explain the natural world. These involve an understanding of the changes caused by human activity and the responsibility of each individual as a citizen;
digital competence involves the confident and critical use of information society technology (IST) and thus basic skills in information and communication technology (ICT);
learning to learn is related to learning, the ability to pursue and organise one's own learning, either individually or in groups, in accordance with one's own needs, and awareness of methods and opportunities;
 • social and civic competences. Social competence refers to personal, interpersonal and intercultural competence and all forms of behaviour that equip individuals to participate in an effective and constructive way in social and working life. It is linked to personal and social well-being. An understanding of codes of conduct and customs in the different environments in which individuals operate is essential. Civic competence, and particularly knowledge of social and political concepts and structures (democracy, justice, equality, citizenship and civil rights), equips individuals to engage in active and democratic participation;
sense of initiative and entrepreneurship is the ability to turn ideas into action. It involves creativity, innovation and risk-taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives. The individual is aware of the context of his/her work and is able to seize opportunities that arise. It is the foundation for acquiring more specific skills and knowledge needed by those establishing or contributing to social or commercial activity. This should include awareness of ethical values and promote good governance;
cultural awareness and expression, which involves appreciation of the importance of the creative expression of ideas, experiences and emotions in a range of media (music, performing arts, literature and the visual arts). These key competences are all interdependent, and the emphasis in each case is on critical thinking, creativity, initiative, problem solving, risk assessment, decision taking and constructive management of feelings.
Sourse: http://europa.eu/index_en.htm