Radi se o izrazu koji se koristi radi izbjegavanja negativnih konotacija izraza "za strance".
In the 70's and 80's, we became more modern and called it ESL/EFL. This was so that the rest of the world wouldn't think we were being colonialists. EFL is, of course, English as a foreign language, and is taught outside of English speaking countries where, naturally, everyone speaks English as a first language. They do don't they? We were heading down a thorny path and quicksand was just around the corner.
At least we were more politically correct than English programs for immigrants in the US around the turn of the century, which were often known as EFB, English for the Foreign Born (still used in New Jersey today).
Of course, Native Americans would have to take EFB too, wouldn't they? There were two trends that I recall from the 80's which were somewhat divergent. As "ESL" became a more widely known term, one enlightened part of the population became increasingly angry. For example, when I told someone that I taught English as a Second Language, they replied, "G-ddammit! Why can't they learn English as the first language of this country! The other enlightened part of the population felt that "ESL" reflected an insensitivity towards those for whom English was, in fact, a third, fourth or fifth language, and it was unconscionable to refer to it as "second."
And so was born ESOL and TESOL.
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Native speaker of: Croatian
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