Guide to ESL Programs in USA

What are ESL programs?

ESL programs are English as a Second Language program offered to students from Non-English Speaking countries. It is usually a bridge program that you take before you get admitted to your graduate degree program. It is usually a level-based program and the level to which you get admitted will be based on your English language skills such as reading, speaking, listening, grammar, writing, etc. The English proficiency of the student will be tested at the time of joining and will be allotted to various levels depending upon the skills and language ability. There are usually 4 to 6 levels of ESL programs from beginner level to a highly advanced level depending on the universities. The ESL programs are offered under different names such as the Intensive English Program (IEP), English for Academic Purpose program (EAP), English to Speakers of Other Language (ESOL), etc. The program is intended to make the students capable to follow the syllabus and lectures during the graduation period. The classes for the ESL programs will be offered on an hourly basis, mostly about 15 to 30 hours per week. The classes are usually very small and are mostly conducted via a one to one basis. In some ESL programs, a native of the country will be asked to accompany the non-English speaker so that he can learn from him and develop skills. The student will be exposed to participate in various cultural and literary fests, which helps to develop self-confidence to interact in English.


Why you should enroll in an ESL program?

The ESL programs are very helpful for students who wish to study in the USA but don’t have good English skills. The students who do the ESL programs needn’t satisfy the English Language requirement scores such as IELTS or TOEFL or PTE. In most cases, the English language requirements and the GPA requirements will be waived off for students doing the ESL programs from the university in the USA.  But that doesn’t assure you that you will be admitted to the graduate degree after completion of the ESL program. Even if there is some priority, the ultimate consideration will be on merit basis. ESL programs help you to excel in your academic works and projects and help you pursue a good job via placement interview. It is very essential that you need to follow what is taught in the class and what is written in your study materials because the medium followed is English. It makes you fit for attending an interview with full confidence in the English language. English is a global language and it is a good thing to be fluent in English. Being in a different country from yours, there is a lot of things that you need to learn from such as their culture, ethics, life, etc. For all these, it is very essential to maintain good social contact with your friends, teachers and the local people. ESL programs help you build your interpersonal skills as well as communication skills. If you are planning to get settled in the USA after graduation, it is advised to do an ESL program along with or prior to your graduation degree.


How to choose the best ESL Program?

Most of the colleges in the USA provide you an option to study ESL programs. But there are various factors that you should consider while choosing an ESL program. One of the main factors is the cost of attendance. There are several universities in USA with affordable tuition fees for international students. Also, find out the syllabus of the ESL program levels and the activities and other skills they teach you during the program. Know why you want to learn the ESL program. If you are looking for a General English Program, you don’t have to enroll for the IEP or EAP program. Another important factor is the student to faculty ratio. Try to find out the universities offering one on one ratio because you will get more attention throughout the course. Everyone wants to get into the best degree. So the ranking of college is also a factor that affects while choosing the ESL program. Overall ESL programs enhances your soft skills which are necessary at the time of your job.

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