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What Is ESL and Why Is It Important?

April 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 144

What is ESL? ESL is also known as "English as a Second Language"; the use of this term is often confused with EFL or "English as a Foreign Language". In fact, ESL is used a lot in online searches in countries where they should be searching for EFL. Unless you really read about it and make a conscious effort to know the difference, guessing would render it useless. As I have mentioned in my other article, ESL and EFL are different. Simply put, ESL is taught in an English-speaking country like the US, New Zealand or the UK. EFL on the other hand is English taught in a country whose mother tongue is not English such as Japan, Brazil or China.

ESL and EFL programs always vary not only because of the fact that it is taught in different countries but also due to the fact that each students' needs vary. One reason all students have in common is their need to learn and improve their proficiency in English either in reading, writing and speaking. Each student must identify their reason for learning the language so that the teacher or the school will be able to plan out their study materials and teaching method in order to meet their specific objectives and needs. Listed below are some things that give ESL/EFL importance:

1. English is the first or the mother tongue used by most of the richest countries in the world, making it the language for the International business scene.

2. Most published books, fiction or non-fiction, are in English. So imagine going to a university abroad, where all your books are written in English.

3. English is the language that most people in non-English speaking countries use to communicate with tourists or foreigners.

4. It is also the most used in the internet

5. The biggest broadcasting networks are in the United States and they too use English. Their broadcast reaches millions and millions of people.

If and when you are going to sign up for an ESL/EFL class, you must have a consultation with a teacher or somebody who will fix your curriculum in school. These consultation sessions, will allow the school or the teacher to not only know your objective in studying English, but you should also be able to tell them where you will be applying what you learned. Are you going to apply it more for speaking or conversation in school, on a vacation, on business or just general dialogues? It is also important to identify a need for a particular vocation or academe so you can be guided well on what to say or write that is specific to your immediate need. Tell them also if you need to concentrate on speaking, reading or writing.

If you are going to take up ESL for some test like TOEIC or TOEFL, you must also disclose this information so that they can help you in the process of passing this examination. These tests are very important as the results can affect your application in an English-speaking university or in your career advancement.

Looking for a good ESL program? Search carefully for a reputable English school and make sure to consult with a teacher so you can find out if their program will suit your needs and requirements. Good luck!

Source: EzineArticles
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