Saturday, September 28, 2013

Finding an ESL School that Matches Your Needs

ESL class in session
ESL class in session (Photo credit: Newton Free Library)
by Andrew Stratton

At an ESL school, the programs are in place to help you to properly learn the language.

With a great many of these programs spread out throughout the globe, identifying the one that is most suitable for your needs and your proficiency level in English can be a challenge.

You must know what matters the most to you before you start looking.

First, select a program that will help you to achieve your goals, regardless of what they may be. You may wish to educate yourself in this manner in order to apply to a college or university, to help further your business prospects, or simply for your own personal desires.

Visit the website for the ESL school and look over it carefully. Read over the mission statement of the institution. This will provide you with the goals that the educational institution has for its students.

Request a copy of the syllabus for the course to find out what materials will be covered. You may also wish to speak with current or former students to find out their impressions of the subject they are learning, and to learn as much as you can about their experiences.

The second thing you will want to do is to look into the qualifications of the person who will be instructing the course. Find out how long the individual has been in the teaching profession, as well as how long they have been working with international pupils.

Has the instructor lived and worked overseas? If they have, they may have a deeper understanding of the academic background of students from other parts of the world.

Also find out if the instructor at the ESL school speaks more than one language. If they are, they may be able to provide students with strategies, tips, and advice about how best to learn a new language, based on their own experiences.

The next thing you want to do is learn if the program has received accreditation from a national organization, a regional one, or both. Accreditation means that the educational program has been carefully reviewed and evaluated by a board and has been deemed worthy of standards of excellence.

You need to ask about the student makeup attending the ESL school too. Find out how many nationalities are represented in the courses that are held.

If there is a broad mix of pupils, this will provide you with numerous valuable opportunities to speak English and to learn about other cultures. It is good to have students with the same background as your own, but also those with more diverse backgrounds.

Trying to find the right ESL school to go to? Consider the American Language Communication Center. For more information, visit:

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