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To speak and write English on the same level as the natives, you can take up an ESL Program. Read the following article on English as a second language to find out more.

English As a Second Language (ESL) Program

Communicating effectively in international social gatherings or achieving academic standards or even while expanding your business on a global scale will require you to have a good command over the English language. This is not an easy feat for those whose mother tongue/native language is not English. Studying for the ESL (English as a second language) will help you acquire respectable knowledge in the rules of this language and this in turn will enrich your verbal and written English skills. Irrespective of your age and country, ESL includes grammar, idioms, phrasal verbs and pronunciation. This aims to help you improve basic speaking skills effectively. ESL course lessons are generally based on lectures of interesting topics, group discussions and projects. The focus of this program is to support students in improving their natural communication abilities. An ESL program is common in countries like U.S.A, Canada and Australia. As you read on, you will gain more details on this particular course.

ESL Program
  • Current world events have accentuated the need to increase understanding and improve communication between people spread across different parts of the world. An international exchange of ideas is important in issues varying from the problem of global warming to medical research to the political challenges of a developing economy. Thus, in order to meet the academic and professional needs of many individuals, the ESL program can be of great help.
  • ESL is the study or learning of English in an atmosphere where it is the principal language.
  • To increase the skill and confidence of the learners in areas of verbal and written English, there are various topics such as pronunciation and structures of sentence (consonant, vowel, syllable structure, unstressed, stress timing, connected speech), grammar (tenses, functions of auxiliaries, modal verbs), vocabulary (phrasal verbs, word derivation, lexicon), acronyms and abbreviations, etc.
  • Many colleges and universities in the U.S. offer a fulltime intensive ESL, which comprises of a minimum of 18 hours per week. Here, the students in advanced levels of the program are permitted to also take a few university courses while they are completing their language study. Another plus point on taking university-based ESL classes is that students on F-1 visas may work on campus for up to 20 hours per week.
  • There are custom designed programs for both short term and long term courses in learning English. These are available in places such as the San Diego State University in California. Developing your skills at an ESL program helps you communicate with others by means of common language.
  • English for Academic Purpose is another program which prepares students for academic studies in universities located in U.S.A. It includes development of skills such as writing of academic papers, taking notes, studying for exams and answering questions in English. Additionally, these courses also help in cracking important entrance exams such as ToEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and GRE (Graduate Record Examination).
  • In the English and Culture Programs, aspirants are not only prepared to learn English but they also come to understand the American culture. Students might be having various reasons for wanting to learn English. Few of these reasons include: applying to an American university, a job in the U.S or for personal reasons. This is a general type of ESL program which prevents 'culture shock' for foreign students.
  • English as an additional language (EAL) covers both ESL (English as a second language) and EFL (English as a foreign language). EAL refers to the study of English by speakers of other languages in English speaking countries. However, in Canada and Australia, the term ESD (English as a second dialect) is used alongside ESL. Another interesting acronym used in the United States is English Language Learner (ELL) and refers to learners of an ESL program.
ESL programs in many countries are offered at different levels. Each level has duration of about few weeks to few months depending on the student's individual potential and study skills. There are options available to repeat the levels, if necessary. Hope the above article was both helpful and informative.