6 Benefits of Attending ESOL Classes
In 2015, 95,072 adults in Florida participated in English for Speakers of Other Languages programs (ESOL)1. If English is not your first language, and if you are over the age of 16, taking an ESOL class can help you in many ways.
One big benefit of taking an ESOL class is that you become a better English speaker. In 2015, about 45 percent of English Language Learners (ELLs) improved their language proficiency as a result of a class2.
Becoming a better English speaker isn’t the only reason to attend an ESOL class. Here are a few more ways that going to class to practice and improve your English language skills can help you.
1. ESOL Classes Give You a Chance to Practice Speaking
Learning a new language can be scary. Even if you have been learning or practicing English for many years, you might still feel nervous when you have to speak to someone you don’t know, for example, at a supermarket or gas station.
In an ESOL class, you have the chance to practice speaking with your teacher and classmates. Your teacher can help you figure out how to pronounce words that might be difficult for you and can provide you with tips on how to remember how to say certain words.
You have the chance to practice real-life English conversations on topics that interest you with your classmates and teacher in a friendly, safe setting.
2. ESOL Classes Can Help You Develop Other Skills
When you attend an ESOL class, you do more than practice conversing in English with your fellow classmates and the teacher. The goal of many ESOL classes is to help students improve their English reading and writing skills, as well as their listening skills. The more you read, write, and listen to English, the more likely it is that the language will feel like second nature.
ESOL classes can also help you develop your math skills. They can help you learn about American history and the government system in the US, which can come in handy if you want to become a citizen.
3. ESOL Classes Can Help You Become a Citizen
Most people who want to become US citizens need to pass an English language test3. The language test is made up of three parts:
To pass the test, you need to be able to write at least one out of three sentences and need to be able to read at least one out of three sentences without making a mistake. Going to an ESOL class before you take the English language test can help you perfect your reading, writing and speaking abilities.
4. ESOL Classes Help Prepare You for a Career
If you have difficulty speaking, understanding, or reading English, it could be limiting your career options. Working to improve your English skills can mean that you are a more qualified candidate for a job or can mean that you are able to move up in your current job.
5. ESOL Classes Can Help You Reach Your Educational Goals
Adult ESOL classes are designed for people who are not in high school and who are over the age of 16. If you never had the chance to finish your high school diploma, taking an ESOL class can be the first step you take towards receiving your GED and achieving other educational goals.
6. ESOL Classes Help to Keep Your Brain Sharp
You are never too old to take an ESOL class. In fact, attending class and improving your English skills can be one way you help to keep your memory sharp. Some studies have suggested that understanding two languages helped people’s brains to function better throughout their lives4.
Orange Technical College offers ESOL classes as part of our Adult General Education Program. The classes are open to people who are over age 16 and who have tested below Adult ESOL level 6. Contact us today to learn more about our classes and the steps to enrollment.
- “Table 507.20. Participants in state-administered adult basic education, secondary education, and English as a second language programs, by type of program and state or jurisdiction: Selected fiscal years, 2000 through 2015,” National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d16/tables/dt16507.20.asp
- “ENGLISH LITERACY/ENGLISH LANGUAGE (EL) EDUCATION IN THE ADULT BASIC GRANT PROGRAM,” US Department of Education, https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0241-choosing-vocational-school
- “Study Materials for the English Test,” US Citizenship and Immigration Services, https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/study-test/study-materials-english-test
- “Lifelong Bilingualism Maintains Neural Efficiency for Cognitive Control in Aging,” Journal of Neuroscience, http://www.jneurosci.org/content/jneuro/33/2/387.full.pdf