Featured News 2019 How to Help a New Immigrant Learn English

How to Help a New Immigrant Learn English

When moving to a new country, it's hard enough to gather belongings and complete the immigration process. When the need to learn a new language is added to an immigrant’s list of things to do, the task can be daunting. However, becoming proficient in English will help new immigrants find new opportunity in the United States. There are many different options and resources to help a new immigrant learn English.

Options for Children

Children who need to learn English after immigrating to the US will learn the language in school. Children naturally pick up a new language faster than adults do and have the added benefit of being immersed in the language since they will be socializing with English-speaking friends daily and learning their lessons in this new language. Children who do not speak English when they enter the United States will usually need to take English language as one of their courses during the school year. Teachers normally add this class onto their schedule in place of a traditional English and grammar class. Sometimes a child can take an extracurricular ESL class in place of the one offered at the school.

In some cases, the school board may decide to place a child in lower grades. This is not a sign of intelligence but is rather an attempt to prevent school work from being too hard while the child is learning how to speak English. Once they have mastered the language, they can normally work their way up to the grade that is age-appropriate for them. Students that are not proficient in English when they enter the school are normally referred to as Limited English Proficient, or LEP students. Children who are familiar with the language and can speak it to an extent may be able to bypass ESL and relay on special help from their school teacher. Some public schools also provide after-school programs to aid with language learning.

Options for Adults

Adults will not have mandatory classes that are issued at school, so they need to seek out a place to learn English if they want to do so. Learning English is practical in America for all sorts of reasons. Without a language barrier, adults will be able to function more efficiently within all parts of society and will have more employment options. ESL classes at community colleges are normally free, or only cost a small fee. Some classes meet during the day, and others meet at night to accommodate work schedules.

English as a Second Language

ESL (English as a Second Language) classes provide adults and children who do not know English the ability to quickly learn important English phrases. These classes are also called English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes or English Literacy Classes. They are typically held at a community college or another education facility. Teachers of ESL have a certificate which qualifies them for their job as a language coach. These classes are practical and interactive and aim to teach someone practical speaking skills for their daily life.

To find local ESL classes, call your closest community college or school district office. Also, an online search may be able to direct you to the closet ESL location. Large cities sometimes have private language schools where ESL is offered for a small price. One-on-one is an option to excel language proficiency. These lessons are normally more expensive, but also more effective.

Technology: An Emerging Way to Learn Language

Smartphones are now an essential part of everyday life for many people. Today, there are a variety of applications that can help someone learn a language. These apps range in cost, and some are even free! Most applications have a trial period, so trying as many as possible is the best option for anyone looking to learn a new language.

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