Learning English in the US

Children and adults who have immigrated to the US from many places around the world can learn English at many schools, colleges, and community centers in the US. In most cases, you don’t have to travel far to learn English. Internet is also a great tool to learn English if you know how to use a computer.

If you do not have any previous experience in speaking, reading or writing in English, it does not mean you cannot learn English. If you know how to write and read your native language, it will aid you in learning English. If you have no prior experience in writing or reading in your language, it will be a great challenge to learn English or any other language for that matter.

To learn English, you just don’t start by sitting in a biology, physics or algebra class. Why? Because all those subjects are not designed to teach you English but rather important concepts relevant to the subject. Instead, you will start at by enrolling in one or more English as a Second Language (ESL) class (or classes).

There are other names beside ESL that aim to teach English; those programs are called English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) or English Literacy. Regardless of what they are called, you want to enroll in a class that is right for your language learning need. The school you choose to learn English at will test you to determine the right class(es) for you. Or, if you are just starting to learn English, start with the most introductory course offered.

Finding a English teaching service:

  • For a child or a teen, chances are your local school will have a public school ESL.
  • Call your local school or community college to find the nearest ESL program
  • Use local telephone directory to find ESL program under Schools— Public or language schools
  • Search internet
  • Check with your local library, social service agency, or other community organization

As you progress in your ESL program, your ESL classes will begin to drop and may be replaced with other subjects. For instance, suppose you are enrolled in a high school ESL program and all you have is ESL classes the whole school day. As you show progress in your ESL classes, you will get more advanced ESL classes. As you exit out of an ESL class, it may be replaced, for instance, with an art or algebra class. When you exit the whole ESL program, you will realize all of your classes are now are about other subjects (such as algebra, pre-calculus, biology, music, physics, and so on) taught at your school.

If you are unable to enroll in an ESL program, you have other options to learn English. You may consider all or most of these:

  • Learning English from your friends and relatives,
  • Reading an English book that has translations to your native language
  • Consulting a book that offers you understand most commonly used English words or phrases in daily life
  • Using computer software to learn English (you may go to the library if you don’t have a computer or English teaching software).
  • Watch videos or listen to CDs for learning English
  • Watch English TV programs
  • Listen to English radio channels
  • Practice talking, reading, and writing in English, as much as possible
Posted on 9/30/2006
by Raj Singh