Why Study English as a Second Language?
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Why Study English as a Second Language?

In today’s globalized world, knowing how to speak another language is a key skill to have. But the question remains, which language should you study? For those who have grown up in countries where English is not spoken, the choice is fairly clear – knowing how to speak English can open up doors for you around the world. From the best schools to the best jobs, fluency in English is often a key determining factor in assessing your suitability. Studying English as a second language through a formal program is generally the most preferred method in becoming fluent in this global language.

English as a Second Language (ESL) is an English language study program for non-native speakers. The majority of students attend ESL schools in order to ensure that they are properly prepared for study in an English speaking university. Additionally, many schools may require applicants to pass such tests as TOEFL or IELTS in order to be accepted. However, there are many other types of ESL students as well, from those simply seeking to learn the language for travel or other social reasons to those who are studying business English so that they can be more competitive in today’s global business environment. Your ESL studies can be tailored to fit all of these possibilities and more.

An attractive feature of learning English that many schools offer is the chance to live and study in an English speaking country. This is one of the fastest, and most interesting, methods of learning any foreign language. Learning a new language is about more than simply studying vocabulary lists after all; it is also about soaking up the local culture and idioms.

ESL students have a variety of options for their studies, ranging from traditional classroom study, to online classes, podcasts, and self-study, as well as living in an English speaking country.

Why English?

English is the second most spoken language on the planet (after Chinese Mandarin). These days, English is often used as the default language that people use when they meet those who speak a different language. This can be clearly seen in places like India, where there is a huge variety of different languages – English is used as the tool to connect these disparate peoples together. Even in Europe, English is the most popular second language for the majority of the people.

Additionally, if you are interested in working for one of the world’s top companies, chances are that English will be the chief language spoken there. English has become the language of international business and most multi-national companies require some level of English comprehension in addition to knowledge of the local languages where the company is operating. Following along with this, those employees who are able to speak English well tend to have higher salaries than those who are unable to.

English can also be said to be the language of government, the United Nations uses both English and French as its official languages. Additionally, with their large influence on world affairs, the United States, and the west in general, are key global players who cannot be ignored. These countries primarily use English to communicate their policies to the world; therefore having a strong grasp of English is key to the correct interpretation of these pronouncements.

While exact statistics are hard to find, a further factor to consider, is the fact that, of the 10 million most popular websites, it has been estimated that over 50 percent of them are in English. Thus, it is clear those without English language skills are missing a large amount of online content and knowledge.

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Studying Abroad. Pic: ALCI Chico

Do you want to understand the next Hollywood blockbuster movie? Chances are you will have to understand English to get the full experience. English is often the language of entertainment, from movies and books to the world’s most respected newspapers and magazines. Speaking of publishing, it has been estimated that around 80-90 percent of all published scientific papers are in English.

English seems sure to hold onto its title as the world’s language for the foreseeable future. In China alone, there are currently more than 300 million people studying the English language. Many of these study English because they know that this knowledge will open up business opportunities all around the world for them. Those who cannot speak English fluently in the future will find themselves at a serious disadvantage to those who can.

A good education in English Language starts with a high quality course at a top institution, with specialist knowledge and experience to tailor teaching and learning to the needs of each individual student. Read on below for information on some of the leading institutions offering world-class English Language courses:

LANGUAGE CENTRE AND FOUNDATION YEAR, UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO – NEW ZEALAND

The University of Otago offers an extensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in disciplines such as Business, Health Sciences, Humanities and Sciences. Intensive English preparation can be undertaken at the University’s outstanding Language Centre, and the Foundation Year provides the academic and English preparation required for undergraduate study. The Language Centre offers general English and a variety of English courses and pathways to university study, including IELTS, TOEFL, iBT pathways to the foundation year and to undergraduate and postgraduate study. The Language Centre provides five levels of English tuition, from elementary to advanced, with small class sizes and access to a language lab, computer suite and independent learning centre. Read the full profile…

AMERICAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE INSTITUTE, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, CHICO (ALCI CHICO) – USA

Established on the California State University, Chico campus in 1979, the American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI Chico) has successfully provided intensive English language education for thousands of students from more than 90 countries around the world. The mission of ALCI Chico is to provide high quality English language instruction and the supportive student services international students need to be successful in their academic and professional careers. The ALCI Chico curriculum includes specialized core courses (speaking, listening, reading, writing, and grammar) and a choice of electives such as pronunciation, American idioms, cross-cultural awareness, business English, survival English, and academic preparation. ALCI Chico offers five sessions of intensive English instruction per year to students of all proficiency levels, from beginning to advanced. Read the full profile…

CENTER FOR ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (CESL), SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY – USA

A world leader in the sphere of higher education, Southern Illinois University (SIU) is a state university in the United States, with its flagship campus in Carbondale, Illinois. SIU has been in operation since 1869, and has since been named one of the best universities in the Midwestern U.S. by The Princeton Review. Given its reputation for high-quality research, small class sizes and high value for money, SIU is a leading choice for international students keen to pursue English Language education, undergraduate or graduate study in the USA.

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY – USA

Explore American culture, develop academic English proficiency and learn to communicate with confidence at South Dakota State University (SDSU). Students receive personal, practical education on a vibrant campus of over 12,500 undergrad and grad students. The SDSU English Language & Culture Institute (ELCI) prepares students for post-secondary study. The ELCI focuses on academic English, while enhancing students’ cognitive thinking abilities and real world problem-solving skills in the English context. Students are challenged to think beyond simply building language skills to embrace innovative approaches to successful learning.

KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY – USA

Kennesaw State University (KSU) is a public comprehensive institution situated at the heart of the beautiful region of Kennesaw, Georgia. Home to around 25,000 students from 130 countries, Kennesaw is the third largest university in the state and offers a total of 90 bachelors, masters and doctoral degree programs across its nine colleges. The University’s unique programs for new and transferring students are steadily garnering plaudits for excellence; in fact, KSU’s first year seminar program is consistently ranked by US News as one of the best in the country.