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I am a Chinese. I have been studing English for several years. Can I just say that ' I am a second language learner' ? Some told me that ' I am only a foreign language learner but a second language learner' , Is that true? What is the difference?
Thank you in advance!
Comments  
If English is the only foreign language you are learning, you can say, "I am a student of English". If you are learning more than one foreign language, you can say, " I am a student of foreign languages".
First, I would not refer to yourself as "only" anything. learning another language is extremely difficult, and you should be proud of that.

Strictly speaking, a foreign language learner is someone who stays in or intends to return to their own country. A second language learner is someone who intends to live and work in the country whose language they are learning.
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Hello Jacklong

I think you can use 'foreign language' as long as you stay in your country. You can use 'I'm learning a foreign language' to mean you are learning English. 'Foreign languages' itself is not so inadequate an expression as seen in the fact that 'TOEFL' stands for 'Tests of English as a Foreign Language'. I feel 'English as a Second Language' (=ESL) might be a notion getting prevailed rather recently. As you might know, in the United States, people are sensitive to any kind of discrimination. The word 'foreign' can mean 'strange'/'alien in characters' along with 'coming from another country'. My guess is this would be the reason why Americans prefer ESL to EFL. If you like to be Americanized in any aspects of your thought, you can use 'English as a second language', but I don't like to be so. I'll use rather 'English as a foreign language'. One reason for it is I am here in Japan and the other reason is I feel English is indeed truly foreign to me, a native Japanese speaker, in its grammar as well as in its vocabulary.

paco
Thank you all for clarifying this for me.
Dear Jackalong,

A little point about your signature.

It should be 'God helps those who help themselves'.

(At the moment it is a little bit funny to me - 'god help ....' has a different meaning to the one you intend!)
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Hi Nona

I'm thinking of having it emboidered on my purse! Emotion: wink