ESOL means English for Speakers of Other Languages. ESOL is a type of English language framework. It is used in the UK and other English-speaking countries to teach English to people who already live in that country, for example refugees and migrants. You can usually still join ESOL classes if you are only visiting the UK.
ESOL courses help you to develop the language you’ll need for everyday interactions, like going to the shops or visiting the doctors. ESOL classes are designed for different levels; from complete English language beginners to students who are preparing to study English at university or to get work in the UK.
EFL means English as a Foreign Language. EFL is a language framework. It is used to teach English to people who do not live permanently in an English-speaking country. This could include children learning a language at school in their country or people who visit the UK for a few weeks to study English.
EFL is very similar to ESOL, from the skills expected at each level to the topics covered. Many EFL courses taught in Europe are made around the CEFR Framework. However, in the UK lots of EFL lessons and courses use different level labels, starting at beginner and going up to advanced.
If you’re applying for UK Citizenship, your English will be assessed. If it’s below Entry Level 3, you’ll need to pass ESOL. Of course, ESOL is also a great way to reassure prospective employers that you have the English skills they are looking for. The course is also designed to be practical. So it’ll teach you everyday English, including punctuation and grammar, rather than things you won’t often be called up to use in the real world.
Additionally, improving your English will help you in other ways, like, talking to English speakers, helping your children with their school work, continuing your own education or gaining professional qualifications.
English is the official language of 53 countries. 400 million people around the world speak English as their first language. Not only that, but English is listed as one of the official languages in more than a quarter of the countries in the world. That’s a lot of new people you can communicate with just by improving one language! Also, many international businesses conduct meetings in English, universities teach courses in English and, around the world, tourists and travellers use English as a common language.
What’s more, English is the rest of the world’s “second language”. While Chinese Mandarin and Spanish are the mother tongues of more people overall, most people in the world choose to learn some English after their native language. In fact, one in five people on the planet speak or understand at least a little bit of English. This makes English one of the most useful languages you can learn.