English as a Second Language: Overcoming the Challenges

For people born in English speaking countries, it can be difficult to understand what it’s like for people who arrive as immigrants with only a foreign native language experience. Especially later in life, learning English language skills (or any second language) can be fraught with challenges that are difficult to overcome. Difficult, that is, without the help of the right kind of English as a second language (ESL) courses.

In order to help ESL students achieve effective communication skills in English, the learning process must be adapted and personalized to the individual needs of the learner within ESL classes.

For Native Speakers of Foreign Languages, the English Language Can be Daunting

Everyday English” skills book for ESL English classes

There are many factors that influence second language acquisition and skills development. Within ESL programs, teaching students effectively requires a curriculum and ESL teachers that take these factors into account to meet the needs of their students.

Prior Knowledge of the New Language

English language learners tend to have a bit of an advantage in this regard, as the popularity of English language culture spans the globe, providing significant exposure to English for many non-native speakers. Clearly, someone with a prior knowledge of a language is further along in the learning journey, but this does not mean that achieving fluency is a foregone conclusion.

Successfully teaching English as a second language to a diverse group of learners requires an ESL teacher capable of understanding and adapting to each individual’s particular needs.

Similarity with the Learner’s First Language

Learning other languages is never easy, however, the similarities (or differences) between the foreign language and the learner’s native language can make the process easier or more difficult.

For example, a native speaker of German will probably have an easier time learning English than a native speaker of Japanese. English and German have a lot in common, as they are both part of the Germanic branch of the Indo-european language family, sharing an alphabet as well as many grammatical and lexical similarities.

Individual Learning Styles

People from different countries and different cultural backgrounds can have vastly different ways of learning. Also, when people speak more than one language, the way they acquire their second language is often different from the way they learned their native language.

This diversity of learning styles pose a challenge, especially in large groups, but helping students read, write and speak English effectively is fundamentally about finding the right approach for each student.

The Importance of Meaningful Interactions

Although traditional language education placed great emphasis on test scores from a language assessment centre and memorizing the rules of English grammar, this approach is now considered antiquated and does not serve the needs of today’s ESL students.

ESL courses that emphasize the importance of instructional conversations and collaboration in English are highly effective at developing fluent speakers, and they help to prepare ESL students for real-world situations they are likely to face while at work or in conversation in the local communities.

LRDG – Helping ESL Students Across Canada Build Confidence and Advance Their Careers

open laptop and notebook, home study setup

At LRDG, we specialize in second language training for students of all levels, with a special focus on preparation for the Government of Canada’s Second Language Evaluation (SLE) tests.

Over the years, we have helped over 25,000 Canadian government employees achieve their SLE goals, allowing them to take their civil service careers to new heights. If you have considered pursuing ESL classes to improve your speaking, reading or writing skills in English, LRDG offers full and part-time ESL courses that will help you learn in your own way.

Our unique methodology focuses on meaningful interaction in small group (or one on one) settings, so you always get the attention you need. The  personalized learning plans we offer cater to individual needs, and our flexible scheduling options make it easy to fit things into your schedule.

Perfect for either Canadian immigrants of diverse backgrounds or Canadian-born native speakers of French, an ESL course with LRDG is your fast track to fluency in English. Contact us for more information today!

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