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ELT acronyms


Do you know your ELT acronyms?  There are a billion and one out there, from methodology to people to exams to individual schools and programs.  New ones seem to pop up nearly every year, which provide a cloudy mist of confusing acronyms to remember the meanings of.  Hopefully this list below will be of some help.


BALEAP = EAP teaching association in UK
CIC = Citizen and Immigration Canada
CLIL = Content and language integrated learning
(T)EAL = English as an additional language
EAP = English for academic purposes
EIL = English as an international language
ELF = English as lingua franca
ELL = English language learner
ELT= English language teaching
ESAP = English for specific academic purposes
IATEFL = International association of teaching English as a foreign language
= English for specific purposes
OSLT = Occupation-specific language teaching
PIM = Professional issues meetings
SIG = Special interest group (e.g. teacher development)
SLA = Second language acquisition
(T)EFL = English as a foreign language
(T)ESL = English as a second language
TESOL = Teachers of English as a second or other language

Exams and qualifications

BEC = Business English certificate
BULATS = Business language testing service
CAE = Certificate in advanced English
CELTA = Certificate in English language teaching to adults
CertIBET = Certificate in international business English training
CPE = Certificate of proficiency in English
FCE = First certificate in English
FTBE = First certificate for teachers of business English
IELTS = International English language testing system
INSET = In-service training
IRCC = Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada
ISLPR = International Second Language Proficiency Ratings
KET = Key English tests
PET = Preliminary English test
TKT = Teaching knowledge test
TOEIC = Test of English for international communication
TOEFL = Test of English as a foreign language
TTC = Teacher training course

Approaches, planning and people

CALL = Computer assisted language learning
CLB = Canadian language benchmarks
CLT = Communicative language teaching
DDL = Data driven learning
DoS = Director of studies
ICT = Information communication technology
L1 = First language
L2 = Second language
LINC = Language instruction to newcomers in Canada
MT = Mother tongue
PPP = Presentation-practice-production approach
SS = Students
STT = Student talking time
T = Teacher
TBL = Task based learning
TP = Teaching practice
TTT = teacher talking time, Test-Teach-Test approach
YL = Young learners

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Brad Patterson

Wish I would’ve seen this a few years ago. With all the blog/twitter action I got about a 97% on this test.

There are a few acronyms folks use in Europe that I hadn’t seen till this year. There’s also an “equivalent chart for the scores on major tests like TOEIC/IAELTS and what that means. This page describes them, and offers some generous goals… 🙂

Lesley @cioccas

Great list, Tyson, thanks!

You might want to add this one:
International Second Language Proficiency Ratings

I’m not sure how well known it is outside Australia, but it’s widely used within Australia for placement, occupational tests (teaching, nursing, taxi drivers, etc.), research and policy, etc.

Lesley @cioccas

Yes, Australian-made! It was originally known as the Australian Second Language Proficiency Ratings (ASLPR) and was changed ‘International SLPR in 1997 to reflect “the rapid growth in the international use of the scale and associated assessment procedures”.
We use it for placement in our program, the AMEP ( and I know that it is used as a test for migrants coming to Australia in occupations such as nursing, teaching and taxi drivers, probably many more!
Cheers, Lesley

Lesley @cioccas

I think I’ve missed something, as I didn’t get the ‘joke’ re 1998. 🙁


Helpful information. Fortunate me I discovered your web site by chance, and I am shocked why this coincidence didn’t happened in advance! I bookmarked it.


Hi, if you could please add DDL for Data Driven Learning for those of us using corpus approaches to teaching languages that would be useful. Thanks!


Great list, Tyson! What about adding ELL(s) English Language Learner(s)

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