Student or Learner
This is my 1st Participation in English forum in the web.
I want to ask about the difference between second language and foreign language?
You'll hear "English as a Second Language" (ESL) and "English as a Foreign Language" (EFL). Most of the time, ESL refers to someone learning English in a country where English is the primary language. (For example, a Russian who has newly moved to the United States or a Mexican in Canada, etc.) EFL refers to those who are learning English in a country that does NOT have English as the primary language. For example, a English class in China would be an EFL class.
ESL can be a bit confusing, as often those in ESL classes don't speak English as their SECOND language, but rather thier third or fourth. (For example, someone who grew up in Congo may first speak a tribal language, then have learned a trade language like Lingala or Swahili, then learn their national language, French, and then have moved to UK and are now learning English as their fourth language in a -- yes, that's right -- ESL class.) That said, if you hear ESL vs. EFL, the distinction that is usually being made is in WHICH country the English is being taught, a primarily English speaking country (ESL), or a country with a different primary language (EFL).
In the UK and Australia, you'll see the term ESOL use for second language learning, as if things weren't complicated enough.
Where is English a second language and where is it a foreign language?
As for me today English has become a second language in most countries and it's not a foreign language any more. Am I right?
Non-native students learning in, say, the UK would be studying ESL and those learning in Japan would be learning EFL. However, it strikes me as a bit of an artifical distinction.