English for Speakers of
Other Languages (ESOL or ESL) refers to the
acquisition of English as an additional language
by people from non-English-speaking backgrounds.
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL )
learners can be broadly described as those
adults who use a first language other than
English at home (and elsewhere), but who have
learning needs relating to English language. The
term ESOL is widely recognised in New Zealand.
Some people prefer to use the term EAL (English
as an Additional Language). Both terms recognise
that for many learners, English may well be one
of several languages they know and use.
ESOL learners are an extremely diverse group
with widely varying experiences and
proficiencies in language, literacy and
numeracy. While many may be literate and/or
numerate in their first language, many others
may not, or may have specific areas of
competence that can transfer to learning in
The two most critical variables that distinguish
new learners of English from their
English-speaking peers are differences in prior
knowledge (including cultural knowledge) and
differences in English language proficiency.
The teaching of English to students for whom
English is not a first language is a central
export education activity and an important
element in the success of the whole industry.
The quality of ESOL provision is essential if
students are able to participate successfully in
Zealand school curriculum and interact socially
with New Zealand students and within thewider
New Zealand community.
For more information,
please visit out ESOL Literacy Website: