Thursday, January 31, 2013


Lawyers are no strangers to acronyms and abbreviations. However, for those of us teaching U.S. legal writing to international students, knowing also a few acronyms related to English language learning couldn't hurt.

Here are a few you might run across:

  • EFL = English as a Foreign Language (studying English in a non-English-speaking country)
  • ESL = English as a Second Language (studying English as a non-native speaker in a country where English is spoken)
  • L1 = "Language 1" = the student's native (primary or first acquired) language
  • L2 = "Language 2" = the language being learned or studied
  • TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (also the name of an association, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc.)
  • TOEFL = Test of English as a Foreign Language
  • NNS = Non-Native Speaker
  • NS = Native Speaker
  • ESP = English for Specific Purposes / English for Special Purposes
  • EAP = English for Academic Purposes
  • IEP = Intensive English program
For additional examples, see this website:

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