English is more in demand than ever!
Language barrier is still one of the biggest obstacles for international students, especially the newcomers to the U.S.. While English is one of the most popular languages in the world, many people are still struggling to master it, especially when they come to the U.S. at an older age.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the percentage of public school students in the United States who were English language learners was higher in 2010-11 (10 percent, or an estimated 4.7 million students) than in 2002-03 (9 percent, or an estimated 4.1 million students). At the same time, nationally, the demand for English as 2nd Language classes has consistently exceeded supply in recent years.
For people who are looking for a structural English class, where they can receive a solid foundation in the English language, community colleges are a good a choice. There are roughly 1600 community and junior college campuses scattered across the United States, with a total enrollment of about 13 million. The overwhelming majority of them offer ESL classes.
Another good place for international students is the local school district, since many schools provide continuing education programs for adults. At the same time, many high schools offer ESL classes after regular school hours and the fees are usually small. By learning English from local schools, students can have a chance to interact with others and have a ton of practice experience.
Today, many public facilities such as the public library are also offering English courses to adults and new immigrants. An advantage of the public library is that students can have a chance to integrate technology and classroom material, since most libraries offer courses through the computer. At the same time, most public facilities are free of charge, which is a huge plus for students who are struggling financially.
The Cyber world
If you don’t have the time and resources to attend actual classes, there are many good online platforms to learn English. What’s better? Many of them don’t cost a cent! Here are the top 5 notable websites where English lessons can be learned for free!
- Elllo- Elllo focuses on your English listening skill. You can listen to speakers from all over the world on different topics, such as sports, travels, games, and so on. There is related text script under the audio player. You can also listen to popular English songs or watch videos.
- Fun Easy English- Fun Easy English mainly focuses on the fundamental English knowledge and learning tips. Its courses include pronunciation, grammar, idioms, slang, writing, tests and much more. Most of those courses are launched in Video format, in addition with text scripts and pictures.
- Go4English.com- Go4English.com is owned by British Council, which is the UK’s international cultural relations body. The website offers English learning information and tests for teachers, students and kids. You can learn English online while you are taking a test, listening to a song, or even playing a game.
- Lang-8- Lang-8 focuses on writing in a foreign language. You write in the language that you are learning, then native speakers will correct your writing, and you can also help others learn your native language by correcting their writing.
- Busuu- For every language you choose to learn, Busuu provides a few courses, including writing exercises, vocabulary training, reading comprehension, and so on. Besides courses, you can also learn English online by joining the community and chatting with other members.
Learning English can be fun!
Even though learning a new language seems like a task at first, if you find the right place with the right group of people, it can be an exciting experience! With so many different platforms to learn English, you’ll be able to master the language in no time! There’s nothing more important than getting a good education in the U.S. for international students, and learning English is the first step to reach their American dream!