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  1. #1
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    Wink EAL - English as Another Language

    Some people like to use the initialism EAL, instead of ESL or EFL. What do you think of EAL? It means this: English as Another Language.

    The phrase that goes along with is "people who speak English as another language".

    Do you think this phrase is redundant? Does is really make sense? English is another language. What else would it be?

  2. #2
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Default Re: EAL - English as Another Language

    I guess I'm used to ESL and FSL. EAL sounds like reinventing the wheel.

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    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: EAL - English as Another Language

    The problem with 'ESL' relies in the fact that there may be students who study English as a third or fourth language. In this sense it is not precise.

    None of these initialisms is self evident. I remember it took me some time to get used to 'ESL'. Although I have been studying English for a long time, only in this year of 2009, here at UsingEnglish, I heard 'ESL'. People study English without knowing this term. I think these terms are important in English speaking countries, in order to distinguish from "studying English as a first language".

    But now 'ESL' seems quite natural to me, and although it is not precise, I don't feel the need to 'reinvent the wheel' as konungursvia stated.

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    Default Re: EAL - English as Another Language

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I guess I'm used to ESL and FSL. EAL sounds like reinventing the wheel.
    I agree. I think it's a case of political correctness, as the term would not offend people learning English who know three or more languages. I usually have no problem with things that people want to call "politically correct". However, if that's the case here, then I think EAL is not necessary. I don't think mult-lingual people could be offended by ESL - English as a Second Language. Anyone who knows five or six languages would have to be too smart to be offended by something like this.
    Last edited by PROESL; 01-Oct-2009 at 03:14.

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    Default Re: EAL - English as Another Language

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    The problem with 'ESL' relies in the fact that there may be students who study English as a third or fourth language. In this sense it is not precise.

    None of these initialisms is self evident. I remember it took me some time to get used to 'ESL'. Although I have been studying English for a long time, only in this year of 2009, here at UsingEnglish, I heard 'ESL'. People study English without knowing this term. I think these terms are important in English speaking countries, in order to distinguish from "studying English as a first language".

    But now 'ESL' seems quite natural to me, and although it is not precise, I don't feel the need to 'reinvent the wheel' as konungursvia stated.
    ESL is the initialism that most, if not all, people are familiar with. The other one is EFL. I'm all for both: ESL and EFL.

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    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: EAL - English as Another Language

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    ESL is the initialism that most, if not all, people are familiar with. The other one is EFL. I'm all for both: ESL and EFL.
    But EFL means English as a first language, right?
    Is it used for example for English as a subject in high school for native speakers? I mean, would an American high school student for example say:
    "Today I had a math test while tomorrow I'll have an EFL test?" (sounds strange)

    Or is EFL a synonym for ESL ?

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    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Default Re: EAL - English as Another Language

    Second doesn't have to exclude third or fourth: it can be interpreted to mean a language learnt through a secondary means, in a secondary time, etc. You can have several second languages, like Pro and I do.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: EAL - English as Another Language

    They use EAL in some schools in the UK, but I think there it stands for English as an Additional Language.

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    Default Re: EAL - English as Another Language

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    But EFL means English as a first language, right?
    Is it used for example for English as a subject in high school for native speakers? I mean, would an American high school student for example say:
    "Today I had a math test while tomorrow I'll have an EFL test?" (sounds strange)

    Or is EFL a synonym for ESL ?
    EFL - This means English as a Foreign Language. This refers to learning English in a country where English is not the first language. ESL refers to learning English in a country where English is the first language. Given the needs of both types of students, ESL students and EFL students, course content would be different. For example, it's possible that an EFL student would study vocabulary related to traveling to an English speaking country, while an ESL student would deal with topics related to living in an English speaking country. ESL students can rely more on acquiring language through exposure and practice, while EFL students may have to put in more study time in order to make progress, or to be prepared when it comes to traveling or using English for business.
    Last edited by PROESL; 02-Oct-2009 at 02:37.

  10. #10
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: EAL - English as Another Language

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    EFL - This means English as a Foreign Language. This refers to learning English in a country where English is not the first language. ESL refers to learning English in a country where English is the first language. Given the needs of both types of students, ESL students and EFL students, course content would be different. For example, it's possible that an EFL student would study vocabulary related to traveling to an English speaking country, while an ESL student would deal with topics related to living in an English speaking country. ESL students can rely more on acquiring language through exposure and practice, while EFL students may have to put in more study time in order to make progress, or be prepared when it comes to travel or use English for business.
    Thanks for the explanation PROESL. I thought I had been studying and teaching ESL, now I see I was wrong - I have been studying and teaching EFL.

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