关于第二语言习得的研究已经盛行了几个世纪。第二语言习得是指“在母语习得之后再学习另一种语言的过程”。(Gass & Selinker, 2008)。从20世纪初开始，人们就对学习第二语言的过程进行了大量的讨论。特别是像Palmer(1917)、Hornby(1950)和West(1953)这样的英国学者对他们的领域做出了贡献。从英国学者的研究中，美国学者也产生了兴趣。薯条(1945)、布卢姆菲尔德(1933)、斯金纳(1957)、乔姆斯基(1966)等学者也在第二语言习得方面对结构主义和行为主义做出了贡献。随后，Selinker(1972)和Corder(1967)等学者提出并发展了“中介语”的概念。Brown(2000)指出，“第二语言学习者正在形成自己独立的语言系统”。进入21世纪，越来越多的研究者进入这一领域，并在这一领域取得了巨大的成就。
虽然ESOL和EFL都属于二语习得的广泛领域，但两者之间存在着明显的差异。然而，这两者之间的差异多年来一直被忽视。80年代初，Krashen(1982)等学者开始对这两个术语进行区分。对于英语学习者来说，英语的教学和学习发生在一个以英语为主要交流语言的国家。因此，学习者自然地频繁地接触到英语语言环境(Stern, 1983)。然而，对于英语学习者来说，学习英语发生在一个英语不是主要沟通语言的国家。在此之后，学习主要发生在课堂上，并强烈依赖于学习材料(Stern, 1983)。
20世纪80年代初，中国学校开始将英语作为一门学科。从那时起，学生开始学习英语(Shu & Zhuang, 1994)。尽管许多中国学生从小学就开始学习英语，但学习效果并不令人满意。英语教师将西方第二语言理论运用到教学实践中。由于这些原因，结果仍然不充分(Li, 2000)。教师和学生在学习语言方面没有很强的实践能力。人们注意到，当学生出国到讲英语的国家时，他们在英语方面取得了很大的进步。在此之后，老师和学生都认为ESOL实践是学习英语最好的方法。相反，有学者指出ESOL与EFL有很大的不同，这意味着ESOL不应该直接应用于EFL (Yang, 2007)。
Research on second language acquisition has been prevailing for centuries. Second language acquisition refers to “the process of learning another language after the native language has been learned.” (Gass & Selinker, 2008). From the beginning of 20th Century there has been a numerous discussions drawn about the process of learning second language. In particular British scholars such as Palmer (1917), Hornby (1950), and West (1953) have contributed to their field. From the research of the British scholars, American scholar also developed Interest. Scholars like Fries (1945), Bloomfield (1933), Skinner (1957) and Noam Chomsky (1966) also made their contribution to Structuralism and Behaviorism with regard to second language acquisition. Subsequent to this scholars like Selinker (1972) and Corder (1967) proposed and developed the notion of “interlanguage”. Brown (2000) states, “Second language learners are forming their own self-contained linguistic systems”. In the 21st century, more and more researchers enter into this field and have made great achievements in this field.
Review of ESOL and EFL
Although both ESOL and EFL fall into the broad area of Second Language Acquisition, there are some distinctive differences between the two. Nevertheless the differences between the twohave been neglected for years. At early 1980s, Krashen (1982) and many other scholars initially began to differentiate the two terms.For ESOLthe teaching and learning of the English language occur in a country where English is the main language for communication. Hence the learners have a natural and frequent exposure to the English language environment (Stern, 1983). However, for EFL, the learning happens in a country where English is not the principal language of communication. Subsequent to this the learning mostly takes place in classrooms and relies strongly on learning materials (Stern, 1983).
Studies on ESOL and EFL by Chinese students
In the early 1980s, Chinese schools began to make English language as one of the subject. Students began to learn English from that point forward (Shu & Zhuang, 1994). Although many Chinese students start English learning from primary school, the learning outcomes are not satisfactory. English teachers apply western second language theories into their practice. Due to which outcomes are still not adequate (Li, 2000). Teachers and students do not have a strong practice in place to learn the language. It has been observed that when students go abroad to aEnglish-speaking country, they make great progress in English. Subsequent to this, teachers and students assume that ESOL practice is the best for learning English. Conversely, some scholars point out that ESOL and EFL are quite different, which means ESOL should not be applied to EFL directly (Yang, 2007).
Under such circumstance, this research aims to figure out fundamental differences between ESOL and EFL. From this successful practices will be implemented in the China.