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What’s the Difference Between ESL & ESOL?

What’s the Difference Between ESL & ESOL?

Monday, May 15, 2023

When it comes to learning English as a non-native speaker, you may be surprised by the number of available course types and terms used. You have probably heard of ESL (English as a Second Language) or ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages), but throw in EFL, ELL, and ESP, and there are a lot of potential options.

What Are the Differences Between ESL & ESOL?

Whether you are a teacher or a student, there are many different acronyms and types of classes to keep straight. And as similar as they each sound, they are distinct approaches and environments in which to learn English. Selecting the right one can make all the difference, so let us take a look at what each type of class is:

  • ESL: English as a Second Language is taught to students learning in a country where English is the predominant language, usually when they only know one other language.
  • EFL: English as a Foreign Language is taught when learning English in a non-English speaking country or where English is not an official language. But is very similar in concept to that of a standard ESL class.
  • ESOL: English to Speakers of Other Languages can cover both ESL and EFL contexts but focuses on learners who already speak more than two languages. English may be the third or fourth they are learning, which gives a different perspective on the course.
  • ELL: English Language Learners is a term most commonly used in K-12 environments to describe traditional student populations. The classes themselves often take the form of ESL or ESOL.
  • ESP: English for Special Purposes is the narrowest type of English class offered. These classes focus on teaching English around a specific field, profession, or topic. Typical examples would be learning English necessary to study or engage in discussion professionally around the law, engineering, or medical fields.

The Importance of English Language Training

The world is becoming increasingly interconnected. Orlando, Florida, is synonymous with diversity. Tens of millions of people visit our area, and people from across the globe also move to the area to work at places like Disney World and Universal Studios. For international adults in the area, there are many advantages to becoming fluent in English. 

Learning the language or improving your skills can prove invaluable, regardless of your age or station. There are many ways in which adult students benefit from mastering English at Pluris Academy. Here are a few examples:

  • College: For adults who are considering going to community college or a university, knowing English well will vastly improve your experience.
  • Employment: There are many opportunities in central Florida for people who speak languages other than English; however, there is no doubt your career choices will improve by mastering the native tongue
  • Local Engagement: English classes at Pluris Academy will help improve your ability to communicate the needs of your family and community.

Knowing the primary language of the people around you can help you succeed, improve your confidence, and ensure you can communicate with coworkers and friends. 

Available Programs

Pluris Academy is here to help speakers of other languages master English. We offer two Adult ESOL programs suited to the needs of our students, Foundations and Intense. We provide an assessment to match each person with the program that will give them the best chance at mastering English.

Our Foundations Program teaches students the fundamentals of communication in American English. We employ English laboratories, as well as other methods, to assist students in learning the fundamentals of written and spoken English. In this course, students focus on:

  • Comprehending what they are reading
  • Gaining skills for listening and speaking
  • Writing and grammar improvement
  • Electives that will assist you in understanding American culture

While our Intense Program prepares students for undergraduate or graduate studies, as well as for workplace environments, students in the Intense Program gain much of the same skills as the Foundation's program, as well as help with test preparation for the SAT/ACT, TOEFL, and IELTS.

Keep Up the Learning

Whether you take an ESOL class through one of our programs or a school located in your area, it is essential to set realistic goals for what you want to learn and how quickly. Regular classes can help with the bulk of learning, but during breaks and downtime, it is vital to keep up with your studies.

  • Make a plan or schedule for when you will study your ESOL
  • Find someone with whom you can practice
  • Determine a good safe location to study and practice

Set yourself up for success, don’t just have good intentions. It may be tempting to put one day of studying off for the next day, but it can be a slippery slope if you’re not already a very disciplined person. One day will turn into two days, and two days will turn into the whole summer, and you’ll find yourself not moving forward in ESOL, but falling backward.

Pluris Academy Orlando

Pluris Academy is committed to creating model citizens and leaders of communities. We welcome people from all walks of life and backgrounds into a new way of thinking and learning. We want our students to leave our school ready and equipped to impact the world. 

Whether it’s learning a different language, no matter your age, or if you’re interested in our private school program, feel free to reach out to us at 1-407-757-2241 or contact us online. The curriculum is challenging, forward-thinking, innovative, and flexible, designed to help students from various backgrounds and with a range of talents and interests reach new levels of accomplishment.