The majority of countries in the Western globe have adopted English as their first or second language. English has grown in importance as a possibility due to the internet and globalization becoming more accessible.
Non-native English speakers’ parents continue to encourage their kids to take advantage of English-learning opportunities so that they might expand out and pursue careers or academic opportunities overseas.
English as a Second Language (ESL) classes can help with professional development and expand work opportunities. Taking ESL classes can help learners in many ways, whether attempting to break into the American market or just searching for extra job alternatives.
Today we’ll look at eleven advantages of classes for learning English as a second language in this blog article.
If you are interested in exploring whether Being an ESL Teacher is a Good Career, I encourage you to read this article.
Table of Contents
What Exactly Are ESL Classes?
ESL classes are designed for students who are not native English speakers. These classes help these students improve their English language skills so that they can better communicate in both academic and social settings.
Different types of ESL classes are available, depending on the needs of the students. Some classes focus on grammar and vocabulary, while others focus on reading, writing, and speaking. There are also classes available that focus on all aspects of the English language.
The percentage of public school students in the United States learning English in the fall of 2019 is about 10.4 percent, which amounts to about 5.1 million students (Source: National Center for Education)
See also: Why is Scaffolding Important in ESL?
Benefits of ESL Classes
Before the 1960s, some American education experts perceived bilingualism as a handicap because they thought learning or knowing two languages could be confusing.
Some experts even thought bilingualism would impede development, potentially resulting in a lower IQ (Source: Lamar University)
Here are the benefits of ESL Classes:
1- Improves Fluency
English use chances increase thanks to ESL lessons, which also boost fluency. Complacently understanding linguistic and cultural norms is facilitated by frequent access to and usage of the language.
Listening and speaking a language in many situations and places is necessary for actual language acquisition and proficiency.
A person is usually able to adopt “varying ways of thinking” after acquiring a new language. Learning a second language makes the mind highly adaptable and efficient.
2- Improves Cultural Awareness
Taking ESL classes can also assist students in developing their cultural sensitivity. Understanding how other cultures function and what sets them apart from one another is essential for someone who wants to succeed in their job.
Along with improving their language abilities, students who enroll in English as Second Language programs also learn about the culture of native speakers.
People who desire to work in a multicultural setting or who intend to travel to foreign countries may find this to be very helpful.
3- Academic Improvement
Courses that seek to improve individuals’ skills frequently encourage them to work hard and learn a different language at the same time. Immigrant children are under expectation to excel academically, and the majority of children find it challenging to do so because there is little assistance beyond the scope of the program.
When it comes to attending college and their language talents, though, several of them have benefits over regular individuals regardless of the help of courses that they frequently rely on if they represent first-wave ESL learners or native-born learners. However, findings and observations demonstrate that participating in ESL courses enhances academic development.
Bilingual pupils learn pre-reading abilities more quickly than their monolingual peers. Stronger multitasking abilities, inventiveness, and working memory are just a few of the cognitive advantages of bilingualism that translate into academic success.
4- Prioritizing Personal Identity
Students’ identities are prioritized in a well-organized ESL class taught by a charismatic and compassionate teacher. Knowing the language of your culture and ancestry instills a sense of pride.
Students get a feeling of historical identity and cultural connection when an ESL class teaches academic and social English while maintaining the students’ competence in their native languages.
5- Future Employment Opportunities
People who speak multiple languages have more work opportunities than their monolingual peers. Due to the continued expansion of the global business model, there is an increasing demand for bilinguals with a solid education.
And if one of the languages they speak is English, then that opens the doors for potential career opportunities worldwide. Who wouldn’t want to have such opportunities?
Taking English as a Second Language class is one of the best things you can do for your future if you are a non-native speaker. Due to their proficiency in English communication, these courses equip students to pursue a variety of jobs and succeed in them.
Although it could come naturally to some, such expertise enables the person to interact with a wider spectrum of people and creates new chances.
6- Turns Learners Into Global Citizens
Students benefit from ESL lessons in general because they engage with native speakers, become familiar with their speech, and learn how to deal with it.
ESL programs will ultimately help immigrants’ capacity to perform all duties expected of a citizen of an English-speaking nation, which is perhaps their most beneficial consequence.
To earn money in order to support one’s needs, pay taxes, and maintain a sense of community. This could not take place without ESL lessons.
7- Links To The Community and Family
Maintaining a student’s native language is crucial in areas where multiple languages are commonly spoken.
The advantage of ESL is that whilst adolescents and adults acquire English, they may interact with colleagues and relatives who understand the language natively and extend out to others who solely understand English. These ELLs are able to connect their households to the outside world.
8- Aids In The Teaching of Tolerance and Diversity
One cannot avoid learning about the traditions associated with the Western globe when learning English through a native person. This helps the student have a greater awareness of the practices of various civilizations, which encourages compassion and multiculturalism.
It also exposes them to fresh concepts that they would never have encountered in their own native environment.
Educating on Black Lives Matter and related contemporary issues is only one aspect of combating racism. Racism appears in settings that our students encounter on a daily basis, and in certain cases, students might not be aware that they are encountering prejudice.
9- Promote Children’s Abilities To Develop Greater Flexibility In Acquiring New Information
In a study on how infants can quickly learn multiple languages, researchers discovered that living in a bilingual family helps children develop greater flexibility in learning new information, even before speaking.
Babies who hear more than one language are better at developing additional sounds and words as they learn to speak, giving them an advantage in speech and language development.
You might also enjoy reading: How Difficult Is The ESL Supplemental Test?
10- Bilinguals Can Easily Follow Cognitive Tasks
According to the U.S. Department of Education, compared to their monolingual counterparts, bilinguals can easily comprehend the following cognitive tasks:
- Comprehending math concepts and solving word problems
- Developing strong thinking skills and learning other languages
- Focusing, remembering, and making decisions
- Using logic and thinking about language
11- Bilingualism May Delay Symptoms Associated With Neurodegeneration By Up To 5 Years
One inevitable thing is that we are all going to age, which leads to losing the ability to execute complex tasks.
The good news is that learning a second language can delay symptoms linked to neurodegeneration by about five years. A 2019 study revealed that the older an individual is, the more bilingualism may protect the brain’s language network.
According to research, becoming bilingual may delay the onset of neurodegeneration symptoms by up to five years.
Do ESL Classes Really Help?
ESL and ELL programs are effective for non-native English speakers to achieve academic success in their education because they incorporate other material instead of focusing only on language acquisition, concluded a 2017 study from California State University.
Therefore, there is no denying that ESL classes can be extremely beneficial for those who are looking to improve their English language skills. They are very effective in helping individuals learn proper grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.
However, some people question whether or not these classes are truly necessary. So, the big question is: do ESL classes really help? The answer to this question largely depends on the individual. For some people, taking an ESL class is vital in order to improve their English skills.
- If you are considering taking an ESL class, evaluating your needs and goals is important. Ask yourself if you feel like you need extra help in order to improve your English skills.
- If you do, an ESL class may be a good option. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to take an ESL class is totally up to your preference.
Learning English is an important skill that can open up a lot of opportunities. Taking an ESL class is a great option if you want to improve your English language skills.
Of course, there are other ways to learn the English language as well, but if you are looking for something more organized.