TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Does that sound more general? It is. TESOL includes teaching English as a foreign language (such as in the 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. The important thing to keep in mind is that although there is technically a distinction between these two terms, they are widely used interchangeably so either a TEFL or TESOL certificate will meet certification requirements for jobs teaching English. One exception to this is in reference to university-level studies. For example, if you decided to pursue a degree in teaching English, you’d earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in TESOL, not TEFL.