4 Things To Look For In An ESL Program

Whether you want to improve your English skills or you want to help a friend improve his or her skills, finding a great ESL program can offer a host of benefits. Before choosing an ESL program, you'll want to make sure it covers all of the aspects you feel are important. Here are some things to look for in an ESL program.

1. Conversational English

English can be a complex language to learn. By only learning grammar and spelling, it may be difficult to pick up some of the finer points of the language. Conversational English classes can make it easier to communicate with people you meet on the street. A good ESL program will incorporate conversational speech, such as how to ask for directions and how to order food at a restaurant, to make everyday communication easier.

2. Vocabulary And Idioms

Even if you have conversational English and grammar mastered, idioms can be a challenge. Words and phrases that are used as expressions can be confusing for people who are just learning English. Look for a program that incorporates not only basic grammar, but also idioms. The program should also expand your vocabulary to help you master everyday speech.

3. Reading And Writing

Knowing how to speak English fluently isn't the only important part of a good ESL program. Learning how to read and write can put you in a better position to get a job, get admitted to a school, or even help your children with homework. Before signing up for a program, ask how intensive the reading and writing program is. Reading and writing can also help reinforce language skills.

4. TOEFL Exam Preparation

The TOEFL exam, otherwise known as the Test of English as a Foreign Language, is required for admittance to English-speaking schools in the United States. If attending college is a goal for you, having an ESL program that prepares you for this exam can be extremely beneficial. The program should help you understand what to expect on the test and how to prepare for the exam. The test incorporates reading, writing, speaking, and listening to determine your overall understanding of the language. When you enroll in an ESL program, ask if there will be any practice tests given to help you prepare further.

Be sure to check with the laws in your state, as you may qualify for free or reduced tuition for some ESL courses. If you don't qualify, ask about payment options or scholarships you might be eligible for. For more information, contact a school like Interactive College Of Technology.