In practice, TESOL is often used as synonymous with TESL or TEFL, where the acronyms stand for Teaching English as a Second Language and Teaching English as a Foreign Language. TESOL has however become more popular than these two concepts since its focus is that of language development for the students, without the differentiation of the English language as a second language or as a language taught to people speaking foreign languages (Beare). According to some sources even, TESOL would be a combination of the two TEFL and TESL (TESOL Direct).
At a general level, TEFL integrated programs of English teaching for the people who lived in countries where English was not commonly spoken. The students of TEFL would normally need basic English language knowledge so that they could maintain communications and gather necessary information in their trips to English speaking countries. In the case of TESL, these courses were common in regions where English was commonly spoken within the country, but it was not however the mother tongue. Relevant examples in this sense include Zambia or India, where English is commonly used at the federal level and where the population would learn English in order to use it on daily basis, as a second language, annexed to their native language. The benefit of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages is that it does not differentiate between second and foreign language features, but simply teaches English to all students so that they can use the language in various instances and at various levels, as required by each and every one of them.
"A TESOL qualification […] covers all aspects of English teaching and learning, and is suitable for all parts of the world. It provides a solid basis for teachers and for developing personal expertise in a diverse range of English teaching situations. TESOL encompasses both TESL and TEFL is the most widely used acronym around the world" (TESOL Direct, 2011).
Teaching English to Speaks of Other Languages has become a highly popular trend and has even captured the attention of the academic community. This has virtually materialized in an increasing number of sources dealing with the issues of TESOL. Sue Wharton and Philip Race (1999) for instance approach the issue from a practical and constructive standpoint and they offer teachers of English numerous advices on how to deal with the challenges of the profession. Among these, the following are worthy of mention:
The exploration of the learning processes
The assessment of the language needs of the students
The planning and preparation of the courses
The choice for the course book
The preparation and design of the materials
The means to dealing with mature learners
The mechanisms of imposing order and discipline within the classroom
The creation and issuing of feedback questionnaires
The usage of additional language teaching tools, such as literature, games or role playing
The evaluation of the student progress and the offering of objective feedback
The competition of the logistics considerations, such as the location of the classroom, the potential need for student transportation and so on (Wharton and Race, 1999).
Overall, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages is a complex and challenging experience, but it can also be a rewarding one. It is widespread across the globe and it continues to generate demand for educators. Despite the possibility of being overthrown by Mandarin, English remains the number one means of international communication, and in some instances, even of national communications. As the forces of globalization continue to promote the political, social, cultural and other values of the West onto the East, the English language becomes an omnipresent language.
4. Implications on TESOL
As it has been mentioned throughout the previous sections of the project, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages is a continually increasing practice which spreads throughout the globe. Also, it spreads to all fields of operation and it has gradually come to impact the very working climate. Specifically, with the process of market liberalization, economic agents became able to transcend boundaries and benefit from the comparative advantages of other regions. These comparative advantages include elements such as an abundance of natural resources, technologic developments, skilled or cost effective labor force.
The concept of the comparative advantages was first coined by economist David Ricardo (1772 -- 1823) and it stated that each country possessed a comparative advantage, normally an upper hand in the production of a specific good. According to Ricardo's theory, the states should produce those goods and items for which they possessed the comparative advantage and then have them exchanged within the international market for items they could only produce in more challenging conditions (Maneschi, 1998, p. 51-57).
At the turn of the twentieth century, the processes of globalization and market liberalization were flourishing and they allowed countries to transcend boundaries and directly benefit from the comparative advantages of other regions. The most pertinent example in this sense is represented by the movement of American corporations into regions that possessed the cost effective region of labor cost efficiencies. The process is generically referred to as outsourcing and it integrates a process by which an economic agent takes work out of the company and has it completed in a different region. The main reason generating outsourcing is represented by desires for profitability from the owners of multinational corporations. And the examples in this sense are countless. Leading automobile company Ford Motors for instance downsized thousands of jobs in the United States and had them outsourced to Mexico. Sports shoes and apparel manufacturer Nike has outsourced all of its operations and only completes marketing, design and management in the United States.
The morality of the outsourcing process has long been debated and has revolved around the negative impacts generated in both of the countries. In the country of origin for instance -- the United States in most cases -- people initially employed in the multinational corporations are downsized. In other words, they lose their jobs, their savings, their financial stability, with the immediate impact of a decreasing life style for the population. Ultimately, pressures are also put on the federal budgets, as unemployment increases, contributions decrease and more social assistance is required to support the population.
In the country of destination, the employees hired to conduct the outsourced operations are often asked to put in long hours and are paid minimum wages. It could as such be argued that this side of globalization only propagates poverty at both ends of the outsourcing deals, with the single gains being registered by the profits generated by the owners of the multinational corporations, in exchange for a high social cost. On a different however, it is often argued that outsourcing promotes economic integration and the convergence to the same economic goals of the nations, generating as such numerous benefits (Bragg, 2011).
Regardless of the side taken in respect to globalization and outsourcing, fact remains that the processes are real and increasing in importance and presence. In such a context then, more and more firms are being opened or contracted by the multinationals as business partners. This subsequently implies that the need for business English intensifies.
At the specific level of English teaching, this means that TESOL is no longer able to integrate and serve all the English language needs. Specifically, it was stated that TESOL is the combination of the previously popular TESL and TEFL (teaching English as a Second Language and Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Within the current context however, it appears that there is an additional need for business specialized language training. In this context then, it is implied that TESOL would have to further develop in order to provide not only basic common language teaching, but also business centric language knowledge.
5. Business English and TESOL in Thailand
Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for outsourcing companies. It possesses cheap and flexible staffs and it has a vast experience with outsourcing contracts.
"Thailand ranks number four worldwide for locating outsourcing activities, including IT services and support, contact centers and back-office support, following India, China and Malaysia, which have retained the top three spots since 2004" (Bangkok Post, 2009).
Thailand is currently the world's 25th largest economy of the globe, with a total gross domestic product of $586.9 billion. But despite the recent developments at the national level, the living standards of the population remain low. While Thailand is the 25th largest economy of the globe by GDP, at the level of the income per capita, it only ranks on the 117th position, with the Thai population only making $8,700 per annum. Within the United States, the population makes a gross domestic product per capita of $47,200 (Central Intelligence Agency, 2011).
Thailand has a total labor force of 38.4 million people, being the world's 16th largest labor force. The unemployment rate is one of the lowest at the global level, of only 1.1 per cent, being as such the…