What does TEFL stand for?

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It refers to teaching English in a country where English is not a primary language (rather, it is a foreign language). An example of TEFL would be teaching English in China.

What does TESOL stand for?

TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. TESOL includes teaching English as a foreign language (such as in China example) as well as teaching English as a second language (TESL), meaning teaching English in a country where the primary language is English. An example of TESL would be teaching English to language learners in the U.S.

Which is better?

In the context of getting certified and applying to jobs, one is not better than the other; they are simply two terms commonly used to describe the same certification. Yet, despite the fact that the terms are used interchangeably by most TEFL providers and language schools, a deeper look at what these acronyms stand for will explain the subtle difference between TEFL and TESOL.