Talk:English as a second or foreign language

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I find it awkward that you would mention Englçish and its varieties as a second language yet do not do the same with Portuguese and its varieties. The Academia Brasileira de Letras does not control language , not even in Brazil. Ppteles (talk) 21:52, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

Explaining the creation of archives[edit]

I have just created a set of four archives for this talk page. It had exceeded the suggested limit on length, and some of the discussions were years old, so it seemed a sensible thing to do. I consulted Wikipedia:How_to_archive_a_talk_page and chose to archive by topic rather than chronology. Some of the discussions on this page were poorly threaded, and different people had started separte sections with identical subtitles, so it was difficult to find the information to refer back to. As this is the first time I have created archive pages, I would appreciate feedback. If there is anything I could do better next time, I would like to know. (Here or on my talk page.) BrainyBabe 17:39, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

External link policy[edit]

Bit of a radical edit, don`t you think?User:andycjp

There's clearly been a problem with external links on this page. Since any number of good external directories of ELT resources exist, I think it would make sense to limit ext. links to directories only. Otherwise users will forever be trying to turn this page into What Wikipedia Is Not. One directory which should be listed here is the Open Directory's page . However, since I am somewhat invested in the ODP language-teaching structure, I will refrain from making the change myself. Visviva 02:07, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

No please, link it.User:andycjp

I've added an ODP link. I'm not sure whether the existing three links are really needed here. Angela. 13:54, Nov 9, 2004 (UTC)

---So where is the *@#&^@*#&$ teaching english in taiwan page? And why is it redirected here? -- Michael Turton

Relevant discussion here: [[2]]. The decision was to delete the article and merge the relevant information. It is my understanding that the same was done for other "Teaching English in ..." pages. Nposs 14:08, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Not only Taiwan has an English education program, but South Korea and Japan has them due to a great fluency in limited ability of the English language. As a result of the post-WWII era U.S. occupation in these countries, the use of English in the countries' pop culture are well known ("Japlish" in Japan). English words in the Roman alphabet can be found everywhere in Japan, but only 3 percent of Japanese people claim to be entirely fluent in English. (talk) 23:04, 15 March 2014 (UTC)

Misc responses and comments[edit]

1. Regarding the number of words: Get serious. English may not have the most words (though I think I does,) but your argument proves nothing. Also, the English words you reference are English words of foreign origin.

2. Regarding links – Again I disagree, I have used similar links on the Korean and Chinese language pages and they are invaluable. I have also used non- wikipedia resource summaries and found that they are never as comprehensive or current as the ones on the wikipedia because they are not maintained by a community. This is exactly the type of thing that wikipedia is and should be. If you strongly disagree then let's make it a seperate page.

3. Regarding the EAL Acronym. I hope we are not making up new acronyms! If “EAL” is not commonly used (I don't think it is, but maybe it is within the profession) I would substitute “ESL/EFL"

Finally, we need to add the reasons why English is difficult to learn. From my experience:

a. Spelling – due to the many foreign adapted words there are many confusing pronunciation rules. Knowing the spelling does not tell you the pronunciation and (much worse for learners) knowing the pronunciation does not tell you the spelling making it difficult to look up in a dictionary jcp 10:49, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

4.(a) Congratulations to all, i.e. the person who started this topic, those who have contributed, and those who have fine tuned it! I am an 'EFL' English language teacher, and the introductory section is a comprehensive overview, for the general public, of this important field of knowledge and practical experience, the science and art of language tuition, and it includes some special features of the 'English Language' which differentiates it from other languages, (which make it a special challenge to both teachers and students!)

(b) One possible matter to consider is the title: "English language learning and teaching", because the article is not actually about 'English language learning and teaching', but (exclusively?) about teaching English to people whose mother tongue is not English! I say this because there are many teachers of English in English schools, who teach English to the English,... but teaching and learning a new language is quite a different kettle of fish! However, I have no idea how this apparent 'titling' anomaly can be corrected! ...Or am I being too pedantic?

(c) Then the article goes into a lot of detail about the challenges of EFL teaching/learning...fair comments, but how far does one go in an encyclopaedic entry? We could all add our little bit to this, but maybe there is more than enough already. The article was not intended, I would have thought, to provide all the received wisdom on this complex and evolving subject. Perhaps a few references to some recognised textbooks on the matter would suffice? (No, I haven't edited and/or inserted any because I feel that the article is, perhaps already too long!)

(d) However, congrats to all, and kind regards..-- 16:03, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Cheers to all of the acronym entries on the article page[edit]

It is maddening and baffling encountering all of these abbrevations. Kudos to all of these. Yes, one does encounter even the obscure ones. And please don't remove a single one. This page is indispensable. Dogru144 00:29, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Thank you so much for these words of encouragement. (I would have put this on your user page if you had one.)BrainyBabe 12:44, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, thank you, and kudos to your contributions. I've avoided the user page since I want to avoid too much email. Dogru144 15:28, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
I have a user page I have never bothered to write anything on, but it allows me to have a discussion page for things like this, and questions about how better to use Wikipedia. i assure you I don't get swamped with email! BrainyBabe 15:15, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I was wondering why nobody suggested "ESeL" yet. In german, "Esel" means donkey/ass, including the mild insult to one's mental capacity, which fits perfectly if you've ever heard or read a random German person trying their luck at English language.-- (talk) 14:13, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Exams section[edit]

Sometime ago I checked on whether UK universities accepted TOEFL. I began with the large public universities and covered many private instututions. The long and short of it is, I stopped after receiving confirmations from 56 universities all over the UK that they all accepted TOEFL (I think Oxford does not accept IELTS or TOEFL but I can check.).

The statment that TOEFL is primarily accepted in the USA is misleading and should be adjusted to include the UK and Australia. NZ universities, all of them, accept TOEFL as well as IELTS. I know, I asked.

Malangthon 04:46, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Where does this table come from? There is no reference. TOEIC and TOEFL do not belong to ALTE or the CEF, so their reference to the scales can be, at best, approximate. Mark2shinshu 03:22, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Years on now, it seems the American tests (TOEIC, TOEFL) have been removed. I think this is a shame. At the very least, there should be a link to tables that try to compare ACTFL, TOEIC, TOEFL and CEFR scores, difficulty though that is. (talk) 09:06, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Dogme link[edit]

I removed the Dogme link because it is in violation of several policies. See the Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Dogme ELT for more. – Chris53516 (Talk) 18:15, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Curious to see what the bru ha was about. Dogme actually does comprise a legitimate turn in innovation and administration theory in ELT. By the time the article itself had been deleted there had been a few reactions in the field of applied linguistics. Go to the Guardian [[3]]

Dogme still able to divide ELT

Luke Meddings and Scott Thornbury
Thursday April 17, 2003
Guardian Weekly

1. IATEFL is a leading applied linguistics association. By presenting their work a their annual international conference, the writers have at least been able to establish themselves amongst the other approaches respected by the profession.

2. The Wikipedia deletion policies, well meaning though they may be, used as a rigid guideline applied by people who may or may not be qualified to ascertain the value of the proposed deletion may in itself comprise a slavish misappropriation of the rules--ironic given the purpose of Dogme. For example, original research it is not yet that was one of the points made for deletion of the article itself.

3. If it is merely a point of preventing self promotion then it would have been simple enough to have someone else write the articles. Meantime, the Wikipedia now has a hole. I did a whip around with applied linguists in the field and most of them not only know of Dogme but have positive opinions with the underlying goals if not the methods. Malangthon 19:21, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Having made note of the contradictions in the deletion
  • Dogme ELT is not original research for pity's sake, and marks the person or person making this assertion and using it to rationalise deletion as seriously uninformed.
  • The conflict of interest is problematic. How many articles here are written by people who have a vested interest in a topic, subject, and field of endeavour? Anyone involved in medical research is automatically eliminated as a source if they get any funding for their related research—they are obviously promoting the topic. Former students write short articles and stubs on their alma mater. Members of organisations write about the organisation. A former student of Abraham Maslow or someone who employs his work could also write about AM and thus we have a conflict of interest. So there goes the entire field of qualified experts.

The reasons for deletion are spurious. So wherein lays the problem?

What is the source of the demand since the stipulated Wiki policy here has been erroneously applied with very obvious lack of consistent reasoning. Who actually demanded the elimination of Dogme ELT. I did a thorough search of Christalk53516 and found no information on that entry to indicate expertise in this are or any area. Further, most of the entries on the changes christalk makes are, to say the least, more of a self appointed authority than a knowledgeable contributor. The person or persons ‘christalk’ is hardly a candidate for managing communications and people to write here on Wiki: Given the predominate voice manifest in a huge number of entries—they or he or she are frequently ill-mannered and dictatorial – why would any one with any expertise in the field want to contribute to Wikipedia with this internet lout hanging about? So, Christalk, whomever you are, identify your self and provide us credentials and identity. I certainly never hesitated to identify myself. Malangthon 02:12, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Learner Difficulties[edit]

This section needs to be substantially revised (I've cleaned up the first few paragraphs, but lost heart at 'syllable structure'). It is making a series of claims based on the view of 'interference' which researchers now consider has a minimal role in language learning. The language is also too strong, in that it makes a lot of forceful claims about what learners will rather than might do. The second language acquisition and applied linguistics perspectives are starting to inform pedagogy, so we should be careful about how much of this 'interference' stuff is still relevant. Jsteph 02:26, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your contributions. If you gain heart again, I encourage you to be bold, and use your expertise to add to Wikipedia. Please add references where possible, to online or printed sources. Academic revision is much valued. BrainyBabe 14:07, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Which researchers 'consider [interference] has a minimal role in language learning? Malangthon 03:32, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
It started in the 1960s and 1970s with S.P. Corder and L. Selinker, who challenged the view associated with R. Lado that most errors are first-language based. Nowadays there are few linguists of second language acquisition who would reserve a major role for transfer (interference), except perhaps in phonology. There is a page by the linguist V. Cook here about this. Jsteph 10:04, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi, I'm not so sure about the example for 'must' - Is "You must not be a native speaker" a natural utterance, except in the context of prohibition, in which case it is the same as the preceding example? Also, in the section on articles, is two (or three if you count the zero article) and "appreciable number"? Finally, at the risk of being picky, by the strict definition, English only has two tenses, past and present. Continuous and perfect are "aspects". I know I should be editing rather than complaining, but time is a bit short at the moment - I'll try to have a more constructive go in a week or so. By the way "Learner English" by Swan and Smith (Cambridge University Press, 2001) is a comprehensive guide to learner problems. Davidelit 13:26, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Jsteph -- what do you mean by "except perhaps in phonology"? It's precisely phonological difficulties that are addressed in the section you're complaining about! From the page you cite above:

Phonology also includes topics such as assimilation, elision, epenthesis, vowel harmony, tone, non-phonemic prosody and phonotactics. Prosody includes topics such as stress and intonation.

-- items which are (very well) addressed in this article. I'm not going to go sniffing out academic studies to back this up, but for what it's worth, as someone who has taught ESOL to a huge diversity of students for almost twenty years, the section that makes you "lose heart" reflects very accurately the most salient challenges learners face with spoken English. Bacrito 18:25, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Phonetic Transcriptions[edit]

"The learner's task is further complicated by the fact that native speakers may drop consonants in the more complex blends (e.g., [məns] instead of [mənθs] for months)."

Shouldn't we use a full vowel instead of a schwa, since the syllable is stressed?--Rairun 04:01, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the [ʌ] would be correct. Jsteph 10:04, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

English term[edit]


what is the proper term in englih, "loosing" or "losing" ?

The sense of th word is when you lost something. Ex.:I´m "loosing" my mind.

Best Regards,

Guga —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Beyond2000 (talkcontribs) 15:38, 11 April 2007 (UTC).

heh heh, that is one of the most frequently misspelled words on the Web. "losing" for the meaning Guga intends; "loosing" for "loose", as in "let loose the dogs of war." I see "loosing" everywhere... Bacrito 18:31, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Reversion to concept of "fitting in"[edit]

I think the reversion of my edit (I had changed "fit in to" to "communicate in their new country") is ill-considered. Why the insistence on "fit in"? That's a very large assumption (perhaps a reasonable one, but purely an assumption nonetheless) about the motives of learners that goes far beyond the intended scope of the article. Do you really want to, entirely unnecessarily, stake out in this article a pov position on assimilation vs multiculturalism? "Fitting in" is a normative concept, incomplete, and misleading; "communicate" is neutral (and fully accurate). Perhaps we could explore this further, if you think it necessary. I won't revert the reversion right now - I have to go help some people learn to communicate in English (whether they end up "fitting in" is entirely up to them, and the communities they live in). Please reconsider. Bacrito 12:02, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for engaging on the talk page. Your articulate reasons have swayed me somewhat; I hadn't thought of "fitting in" as assuming or tending towards assimilation, but I suppose in some contexts it can be. (Although, in turn, assimilation and multiculturalism are not clear-cut issues; some would hold one to be good, some the other, so POV cuts both ways.) My point was that people around the world use English to communicate between countries: Germany to Malaysia, Russia to Brazil. The variety they learn has little impact on that need to communicate. I wanted to distinguish that from people who come to settle in the Anglosphere, who generally want to learn what's going on around them -- not necessarily to adopt that culture, but to understand it. That goes for cultural nuances and slang as much as tyre/tire spelling distinctions or the use of present perfect or past simple. Kids pick up the accent and the idiom much faster, of course, and often even a transatlantic migration (eg US to UK or vice versa) will lead to the child codeswitching to "fit in" with peers. Perhaps the verb "use" would be more neutral? BrainyBabe 16:51, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Source for exams comparison[edit]

Where does this comparison between ALTE/CEF levels and TOEIC and TOEFL come from? I know it is difficult to compare different examinations and any placing of TOEIC scores on 4 skills testing scales is problematic and the table could be misleading. I can't find a reference. Does anyone have one? Mark2shinshu 09:46, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Good point. Tag it as unsourced if you feel it justified. Where have you looked for references? BrainyBabe 12:57, 14 September 2007 (UTC)


How many school-age children and adults are learning English in each country where English is a major language? It has implications for educational and economic policies. -- Beland 02:09, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

move from article[edit]

This is interesting info, but not supported by the quote (which is nonetheless a useful source)

Some Asian countries now require certificates based on Asian English Learning (Korean Ministry of Justice -March 2008) whilst China is only accepting (at government school level) certificates authorised by the International Accreditation Authority. Taiwan and Hong Kong are also implementing the certificate courses certified by the independent authority. TESOL Law Journal

I leave this here until someone can better source and reintegrate it. BrainyBabe (talk) 15:48, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

proposed hiving off[edit]

I suggest that the section on "difficulties for learners" be given its own article. It sits strangely here, in an article mainly about the occupation and the teacher. BrainyBabe (talk) 16:08, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

removed spelling & writing info to here[edit]

I have removed the following, added by an anonymous editor:

Recent neuroscience seems to indicate that the brain is reading and writing by comparing what it sees with a large "word archive" of Mental Orthographic Images (MOI). While rules and phonics are great tools when in doubt, it is essential for successful reading and writing that the brain has a large amount of vocabulary readily stored in its word archive.
For decades, spelling education has been associated with rote learning styles. However, just because old learning styles did not work all that well does not mean that we can do away with the content to be learned. Increasingly voices are heard within the educational community cautioning that spelling practice may still have an important place in education, since not being able to write a word is an important indication of the word not yet being successfully stored in long-term memory.
Most people write based on a "looks right" mechanism, and read with the help of a powerful yet largely improvising "looks like" process. Both processes match words within fractions of a second to meaning - provided the brain is operating on the basis of a strong vocabulary. Secure vocabulary knowledge - which includes the ability to spell with confidence - is therefor likely a foundation of successful reading and writing that should not be underestimated.[1]

It is interesting but not appropriate for this article. FIrstly, it is unsourced (blogs don't count); secondly, it is not clear that it is about EFL/ESL. I will add it to the talkpage of Phonics and see if anyone can make use of it there. To the editor who took the trouble to create this, please make an account, and I will try to assist you in your future contributions to Wikipedia. We value your energy and good intentions, but there are some rules to learn first. BrainyBabe (talk) 07:06, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

  1. ^ A reflection on the Cna yuo raed tihs? [1] email, and why it shows the importance of spelling,

Should "English teacher" really redirect to this article?[edit]

English teacher and ESL are two very different things... Generally, the term "English teacher" is associated with someone who teaches language, literature and writing to native or fluent speakers of the language, not someone who teaches ESL students.--Jp07 (talk) 05:17, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

If you created a separate article for English teacher, what would you expect to find in it? Have you checked around to see if there is an article that covers that comprehensively? You might redirect to that, or create a disambiguation page, with links to this page, TEFL, British education (i.e. a teacher of English nationality), the teaching of literature, etc. BrainyBabe (talk) 08:26, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Problems for Speakers of Specific Languages in Learning English[edit]

I did some (admittedly, very minor) editing of the "Problems for Speakers of Specific Languages in Learning English" section. However, I do not think it fits in this article, as the only language that's mentioned is Thai. Speakers of Japanese, French, Cherokee, etc etc, would also have difficulties learning English - as would native English speakers attempting to learn Japanese, French, Cherokee, etc etc.

At the very least, we should give a couple of other examples. Furthermore, we should keep the explanations brief.

Red dwarf (talk) 21:33, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

I agree. If it is legitimate to include the problems of Thai speakers, then it is equally legitimate to have equivalent sections on the difficulties that Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, and Portuguese speakers experience in learning English, all of which are well documented. The needs of Albanian, Tagalog, Tamil, Hungarian, Sami, and Kyrgyz speakers should also be taken into account. Each of these -- with sources -- would make a good article. Their inclusion here does not improve this article, bu rather unbalances it. BrainyBabe (talk) 19:45, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
I see I proposed something similar in April 2008, above. BrainyBabe (talk) 19:48, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

removal of single-entry Further Reading section[edit]

Moved from User talk:BrainyBabe

Hello. You, without discussion, reverted out my addition to the English as a Foreign or Second Language article which added this further reading:

You wrote in your edit comments: "(Reverted 1 edit by Wikiklrsc; Good source but too specific for this article. (TW))". I hadn't thought it off-topic and also I hadn't considered it too narrow for the article. It was an interesting and pertinent read which I thought might be useful generally in the article. If one wishes to be specific, it has relevance to the section on "Problems for Speakers of Specific Languages in Learning English" where the CAELA article talks about intra-classroom dynamics and conversational learning of English for students from China due to socio-cultural factors. It should be reconsidered. I may re-insert it. Thanks and best wishes. --- (Bob) Wikiklrsc (talk) 17:07, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Hi Bob. Thanks for dropping by. I think this discussion would be better on the article talkpage and will move it there.
You created a section entitled "Further reading" and added the McKay paper as the sole entry. A better procedure would be to integrate some material from the paper into the article, which will then appear in the reference. That material will of course be open to challenge in turn. I see you have now done this.
I wouldn't, and didn't, say that the paper (which, from its title etc., appears to be a good academic source) is off-topic. I do think that it is too specific for the role to which you assigned it, although it might fit "Further reading" in an article on Chinglish or Classroom dynamics, or other areas.
English as a Foreign or Second Language is an article that has consistently attracted linkcruft; I am not suggesting McKay et al is of the same ilk, but once one item is added, an uncontrollable number tend to follow. We are talking about a major worldwide industry. There are literally thousands of academic papers of equal validity to the one you chose. If there were to be a section on "Further reading", I would suggest an introductory text such as Keith Johnson's An Introduction to Foreign Language Learning and Teaching. I hope this clarifies the matter. BrainyBabe (talk) 19:35, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Hi. Thanks for your kind note. It's better here in the article's talk page as you did it. I indeed did integrate it into the article and footnoted appropriately. I also take your points for further work and consideration. Thanks for your help and best wishes. --- (Bob) Wikiklrsc (talk) 22:59, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
I might add that many of Keith Johnson's works are indeed academically compelling. The one you alluded to is of particular interest. Best Wishes. --- (Bob) Wikiklrsc (talk) 00:20, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Qualifications to Teach ESL, Especially in the U.S.[edit]

I placed a "citation needed" after the statement that most esl-instructors at universities and community-colleges have an MA in TESL. I have taught at 3 universities and at 4 community-colleges in 3 US cities / 2 US states, and the majority of my co-workers at the cc's didn't have master's in any subject. At the universities, they had master's or were working on them, but their master's were not usually in TESL or something related such as Linguistics. At community-colleges and universities, I have taught ESL alongside people who had degrees in biology, electrical engineering, French literature, history, women's studies, and anthropology. I have discussed this with colleagues from all around the US and Canada, and they tell me the same situation is common where they have taught; therefore, I do not believe that most esl-instructors at universities and cc's have an MA in TESL. PN, MA Ling (talk) 01:56, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Restored missing content[edit]

In two unhelpful edits last October (1, 2) Doanan removed some material and replaced it with a throwaway and irrelevant remark. An unfortunate side-effect was to disrupt the header hierarchy, promoting five subheads up a level. I've restored the material. Hope this helps, best wishes, DBaK (talk) 18:35, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Only 3 diphthongs for General American dialect[edit]

I'm not a linguist, but I don't think this is true. I can think of at least four, and the diphthong page shows at lot more for GA. Ufwuct (talk) 19:55, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

I concur with the above comment and have always considered [ju], as in "few" or "united," a diphthong but it is not listed for GA. The [j] is omitted by many non-native speakers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:28, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Methods for English Learners[edit]

Learning English is difficult for English learners because their first languages are not English. They learn English with their languages' cultures. The older they are, the harder for them to learn English. Furthermore, adults are more difficult to learn new languages than children because children are less self-conscience and mouth muscles are more flexible than adults. There are four main categories in English: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening.

♦Reading: Reading is a one of the areas that you need to learn to improve your English. There are several ways to make your reading skill better. Bring a dictionary with you everyday, and look up new words whenever you see new vocabulary. Even though you don't have dictionary with you, you can write down the new words on your "word-taking" notebook. As you start learning, you can start reading some books with simple words such as children's books. As your reading ability increases, you can start reading magazines, newspapers, and books. When you do the readings, you don't need to understand every single word. You just need to understand the general ideas of the readings.

♣Writing: Writing is another area that you need to learn to improve your English. As a new English learner, you can try to write something a day regardless of letter, diary, or chatting. You can start with simple vocabulary at the beginning; try to come up with complete sentences afterward. After a period of time, your English skill will be improved. Online resources can also help you to learn English. You can write blog, leave messages for your friends, or chat with friends online. Those are more entreated to do. Whenever write something, you can try to apply your new-learning words to your context.

♥Listening: Listening is the third idea to learn to improve your English. Watching English-speaking television, listening to the music, and watching movies provide an environment for you to practice your listening. A recommendation is to listen as much as from Native Speakers as possible because they have natural flow in speeches. As you listen more, you will learn the correct pronunciation, speech pattern, and comfortable to listen English. At the beginning, listening English might be hard, so subtitle is recommended. Reading the subtitle and following the listening at the same time can help you learn new words and practice listening.

♠Speaking: Another idea to learn to improve your English is speaking. Speaking is the hardest one to improve in English. Most of English learners have accents because they have learned their first languages previously. To practice speaking as much as you can because the more you speak, the more you will improve on speaking. When you are a beginner in learning English, you can practice pronunciation in front of the mirror. Then start speaking in English with some body that you feel comfortable with. The most important thing is don't be embarrassed. Without fear, you will do a lot better. When you fail, you need to keep practicing until the day you get it correctly.

[edit] Websites for English Learners — Preceding unsigned comment added by Janicekuang17 (talkcontribs) 21:01, 15 March 2011 (UTC)


Looking at the pronunciation section of this article, I've noticed a complete lack of citations to support the information there. There are examples of information that is not accurate and even contradicted even in other Wikipedia articles. For example, this article says that a consonant cluster after a vowel can only contain four consonants, but this article: Consonant cluster states that although rare, clusters after a vowel can contain up to five consonants. The other aspect that needs citations are the claims made on how speakers of certain other languages would pronounce certain things in English. A lot of this information could be considered general knowledge, I guess (i.e., [r] and [l] confusion for Japanese), but who collected the data used in the article as examples? With some citations or documented data sources, the credibility of this article could be greatly improved. Scc04 (talk) 19:11, 17 November 2011 (UTC) Scc04

I've shortened the section. From my experience with non-native pronunciations of English, the pronunciation of non-native speakers is something many like to contribute to but few have sources for. Good catch. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 02:46, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved. --BDD (talk) 17:19, 3 December 2012 (UTC) (non-admin closure)

English as a second or foreign languageEnglish as a second language – Today's move was probably an improvement, but the article should really be moved to English as a second language. We don't do disambiguation by stringing the options together in the title with "or". Google Books counts:

(With the caveat that Google counts are notoriously inaccurate.)-Srleffler (talk) 03:00, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Wouldn't English as a foreign language be better, though. According to the article, English as a second language is deprecated in many English-speaking countries and the term is controversial to some. —  AjaxSmack  03:47, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
    • I don't mind if we end up moving the article to some other title rather than the one I suggested. Some of the text in this article and Teaching English as a foreign language seems to indicate that "EFL" is particular to the case where the student lives in a non-English speaking country. "English as a second language" has the advantage that it is applicable regardless of whether the student is in an English-speaking country. --Srleffler (talk) 04:00, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
      • In case that isn't clear: if a student lives in a country where English is not a native language, then English is a "foreign language" for him or her. If the student lives in a place where English is spoken, then it's not correct to describe the language as "foreign" there.--Srleffler (talk) 04:05, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
  • English as a second language. Quite common. For a while there were ESL classes, then there were native language classes. Los Angeles has students who speak 92 native languages. Studies show that it is just as effective to just teach them all in English. Children under 14 learn languages very easily. These are referred to as English language learners (ELL). Apteva (talk) 04:28, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose this should be English as a foreign language, since it would not naturally be the second language for many people, it could be their fourth, or fifth, etc. And there's the commonly used test TOEFL -- (talk) 06:40, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. In my opinion English as a second language fails the "precision" article-naming criteria. I just consulted my copy of the Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics and it says that the term is ambiguous, and gives two basic meanings. The first is the broad sense of English learned as any language in addition to a person's native language; the second is the narrower sense where, according to the Longman entry, "it is often contrasted with English as a foreign language."

    The difference between EFL and ESL is one of access. In EFL situations, according to Longman, learners do not have any day-to-day connection with English (think learning English in China, Japan, or Korea). In ESL situations, students either use English in their daily lives (such as in the UK or the USA), or using English is important for government or business, etc. (such as in India or Singapore).

    If we were to choose just English as a second language then people may assume we are excluding EFL situations from the article; similarly, if we chose English as a foreign language then ESL situations would be excluded. I suppose we could have separate articles about EFL and ESL, but to me it makes most sense to put everything together on one page. And if we have everything on one page, I would prefer an unambiguous title. — Mr. Stradivarius (have a chat) 15:18, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

    (Also, in the interests of full disclosure, I was the editor who moved the article to "English as a second or foreign language" on the 25th.) — Mr. Stradivarius (have a chat) 15:24, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Note: there is currently a discussion at CfD about the related category Category:English as a foreign or second language. — Mr. Stradivarius (have a chat) 15:27, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep current name. While it is long, since ESL and EFL are different in at least some uses, until we are ready to write an article on each we need to include both in the article name. Since many people in ESL programs were born in countries where English is the official and de facto official language saying they are learning it as a "foriegn" language is odd at best. These are distinct but related things. While it is true that ESL is sometimes used for all situations, it seems enough people distinguish ESL from EFL than covering both in the article name works.John Pack Lambert (talk) 17:07, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep present name and Oppose move to ESL. English is a second "official" language in many countries that have their own "first" language. In many other countries English is a foreign language, not "officially adopted" but greatly used. So present title is far more accurate than just ESL as proposed for move. werldwayd (talk) 19:12, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
Late note

When this comes up again, as it will, add my vote in support of moving or splitting this page so it has a less godawful title. If EFL is actually distinct, give it a separate treatment; if it is not actually distinct (or so minimally distinct as to be easily treated on the same page), make it a subsection of the ESL page, which is (far and away) the current WP:ENGLISH WP:COMMONNAME as documented above.

(Frankly, the objections to "2nd" as mutually exclusive with polyglot learners simply indicate those objecting could themselves benefit from an ESL course. There are other definitions of the word... such as the one being used in this case.) — LlywelynII 14:49, 19 August 2013 (UTC)


Saw some edits recently taking exception to an unperioded USA. As an American who doesn't really see the point – the most important thing is consistency with or without & no one ever seems to bother to use them for any acronyms except USA; therefore, we should just follow the hordes who've already abandoned the Victorian model and stop making an issue of it altogether – and noticed a "centred" in the lede paragraph, I checked to see whether the page is even on an American standard.

Looks like no one had checked before, so I'll just note that the stub went British first but the first non-stub (i.e., controlling) edit was in American English. Banner template added and kindly try to maintain the style consistently in the page, pending a new consensus here that it should change. — LlywelynII 14:39, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Acronym soup[edit]

This isn't the U.S. Army; especially for this article (out of all of them) we should be aiming for ease of use and not the current jargon-laden alphabet soup. That's my take; I'll leave it to the resident editors how best to balance that with thorough coverage. I will note, however, that (inter alia) we're defining the exact same terms two and three times in multiple sections. I suppose that could be helpful, but for the most part this is jargon that we'd be better off avoiding in the first place. — LlywelynII 16:21, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Implication of technology in ESL learning schools[edit]

In this section, I would like to add how the implication of technology influences the advancement of ESL learners. MlkTheGenius (talk) 17:48, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

5th paragraph of intro irrelevant to topic[edit]

It's very nice that there are witty quips about the differences between UK and US English, but I don't think this information is relevant enough to take up a full paragraph in the overview section of an article about English as a second or foreign language. Surely it would be sufficient to mention that differences exist and link to a relevant full article, such as List of dialects of the English language. --Gretchenmcc (talk) 19:48, 30 May 2016 (UTC)

ESL, ELL & LEP[edit]

Apologies if this has been brought up before, but perhaps we should tie these three articles together via See Also mentions, since they all describe variations on a similar concept? English as a second or foreign language, English-language learner, & Limited English Proficiency. Any thoughts? <> Alt lys er svunnet hen (talk) 04:45, 4 September 2016 (UTC)

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For example, the only other Indo-European Languages with /θ/ and /ð/ sounds are Spanish and Greek.[edit]

Albanian, Aromanian, Icelandic, Faeroese, Welsh, Tuscan, Scottish Gaelic, Venetian etc don't count then? I'll remove this since it's a blatant lie and also irrelevant — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:24, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

Possible Typo in second sentence[edit]

Second sentence of article begins Instruction for English-language learners .... Shouldn't it begin with Instructions for ... ? Because English is my second language, I'm not sure. -- Juergen (talk) 10:02, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

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