Vocation of ‘Sentness’ in Education

February 26, 2015

We may think that teaching English is simply teaching English wherever we are teaching it. But there are fundamental differences between EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classrooms and ESL (English as a Second Language) classrooms. An EFL classroom is in a country where English is not the dominant language.

Missional Education

Outside of the classroom, students have very few opportunities to use English and have limited exposure to English-speaking culture. On the other hand, an ESL classroom is in a country where English is the dominant language. Outside the classroom, students have extensive daily exposure to English-speaking culture. An ESL classroom is far more likely to have students from many different countries, all with different native languages; whereas an EFL classroom is not.

In an ESL classroom, students gain a sense of confidence when they talk about something about which they are authorities, such as their own country and culture. Therefore, effective lesson planning must take into account the student’s language learning environment.

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