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ELT Acronyms

Do you know your TOEIC from your TOEFL? Do you have any idea what LCCIEB stands for? How about the difference between EFL and ESL? Acronyms are thrown around a lot in the ELT business (see?!), but our handy little guide can tell you what they stand for and point you to relevant web sites.

Acronyms M-Z

MELTA

Malaysian English Language Teaching Association; Web site)

MLAT

Modern Language Aptitude Test (developed at Harvard University and published by the Psychological Corporation; Web site)

MLU

Mean Length of Utterance (Means of calculating the linguistic activity or proficiency of young children; in short, the number of words spoken divided by the number of times they speak)

NA

Natural Approach (stresses simplified conversation and visual or physical cues to make English input comprehensible)

NATESOL

Northern Association of Teachers of English for Speakers of Other Languages (UK; Web site)

NCTE

National Council of Teachers of English (US; Web site)

NLP

Neurolinguistic Programming (based around the idea of the mind map, which helps the student to express in English their inner virtual world)

NNS

Non-native Speaker

NS

Native Speaker

ODA

Overseas Development Agency

OHP

Overhead projector

OUP

Oxford University Press (OUP Japan web site)

PGCE

Post Graduate Certificate in Education (for teaching in UK state sector; Web site)

PPP

Presentation, Practice, Production (Presenting new language; Practicing the language with controlled exercises; Producing the language with free exercises)

RP

Received Pronunciation (the accent of English which is considered a mark of an educated speaker; sometimes referred to as Standard English or BBC English)

RSA

The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (Web site)

SAIP

Special Alternative Instructional Program (a form of immersion education in which students are taught primarily through sheltered English techniques, with the native language used as little as possible; does not promote the development of bilingual skills)

SIG

Special Interest Group

SL

Second Language (in this case, English)

SLA

Second Language Acquisition

STEP

The Society for Testing of English Proficiency (test also known as Eiken; Web site)

STT

Student talking time

SW

Silent Way (a teaching approach where the teacher is as silent as possible and students 'discover' language for themselves)

TBE

Transitional Bilingual Education (teaching students in their native language and phasing in English instruction)

TEAL

Teaching of English as an Additional Language (Canada; Web site)

TEFL

Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (mostly UK; Web site)

TENAR

Teaching English for No Apparent Reason (one of several facetious expressions used to describe a learning situation where the purpose is, at best, vague; this includes language courses that apparently exist merely to allow students to meet university graduation requirements; common in Japan)

TENOP

Teaching English for No Obvious Purpose (see TENAR)

TENOR

Teaching English for No Obvious Reason (see TENAR)

TESL

Teaching of English as a Second Language (mostly US)

TESOL

Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (Web site)

TL

Target Language

TOEFL

Test of English as a Foreign Language (commonly used to gauge English ability for university entrance; Web site)

TOEIC

Test of English for International Communication (commonly used in Japan to test proficiency in English for business purposes; a minimum TOEIC score is increasingly being used as a job requirement; Web site)

TPR

Total Physical Response (ususally used with children to get them to respond physically to learned language)

TSE

Test of Spoken English

TT

Team Teaching

TTT

Teacher Talking Time (for giving motivation, instructions and exposure to the new language)

TWE

Test of Written English

UCLES

University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (Web site)

UG

Universal Grammar

USIA

United States Information Agency (Web site)

VSO

Voluntary Service Overseas (UK web site; Canada web site)

A - D | E - L | M - Z


We hope for this to be a comprehensive list of terms and acronyms related to English language teaching. We've included organizations, publishers, teaching terms and job titles. If we've missed any, please let us know.



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