English as a Second Language (ESL) is an educational program that teaches the English language to non-native speakers. There are many modes and variations of the ESL program, but students and educators better understand its entirety through the abbreviation. It also serves as a different platform designed for the said non-native speakers to enhance their skills without competing with already-native speakers of the language.
- The relevance of the ESL program
Looking at how globalized the world is today shows that while it is easy to interact with people from different cultures, living in a foreign country where your language is isolated can be scary. This feeling is what many families experience, seeing as they will encounter a new language, culture, school, etc. Particularly for children planning and already integrating into a native English-speaking country, they usually take esl classes not to be too overwhelmed when they enter the classroom. The same applies to adults, college students, etc., who need access to the English language.
- Who take these classes?
Generally, one can enroll themselves to an ESL class if they come from a non-English speaking background. However, there are various people who come from different motives when they take these classes. For instance, aside from immigrating to native English-speaking countries like the United States, they might be moving to a different place or workplace where they need to speak the language for their career’s continuity.
They might also be exchange students from their home country to a different one, where they will be staying there for months on end. Or, for the parents’ interest, the child goes through the course to build a solid and globalized foundation on the English language. While there are many ways people get ESL, one thing is for sure: The ESL program is one that gives an abundant amount of opportunities.
- How does it work?
ESL programs are usually done through individualized instruction, which means that the accrediting educational institution will only give you written materials to learn the language. Especially today where people usually go over their studies through online means, getting familiar with the setup will not be that hard. Going back, the program has four areas of learning: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The individual will take an exam examining how well they learnt in these four domains of the English language.
- How long will it take?
It really depends. Before you take the program, you might go about a diagnostic examination first, where your current English proficiency is checked to see how well the approach will provide for the marginal learning you want. The most time that people do with ESL programs is about three months, though some take far longer than others, which is just alright.
If you come from a country where English is the second most dominant language, then the workload might be easier for you. On the contrary, if you have no idea about the language, then you might spend most of your day learning the language extensively.