The simple and straightforward answer to this question is there are many differences between these two acronyms as they stand for very different things. Throughout the world of teaching and learning the English language there are countless acronyms that are used to shorten the names of all manner of tests, certificates, courses etc, in order to make them easier to say, write or understand. TESOL and IELTS are just two of them. Below we take a look at the meanings behind these two acronyms that are well known among English language teachers and students.
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TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. This acronym is commonly used throughout the teaching profession to refer to the act of teaching the English language to non-native speakers. It is primarily used in situations where English is being taught in countries where it is not the native language, i.e, teaching English to Spanish people in Spain. However, it is also commonly used to refer to teaching English in any given location or situation.
As well as the physical act of teaching English, TESOL is also used to refer to the training courses, and the certification received upon completion, that teachers need in order to apply for jobs in schools and language centers where English is taught. TESOL courses are run by a number of different providers, such as ITTT, who provide a number of different course options to choose from. Trainees can typically choose between in-class courses that run on a set 4-week schedule at a designated training center, or online courses that can be completed from home at any pace you choose for yourself.
IELTS stands for the International English Language Testing System. This acronym is the name of the most popular English language proficiency test currently in use worldwide. Every year it is taken by tens of thousands of non-native English speakers who are looking to head overseas to work, study, or migrate permanently to English speaking countries. The test is used by many governments around the world as a way of ensuring potential migrants, whether short-term or long-term, have the level of English skills that they require to meet the criteria they have set.