ESL Programs: Learning English As a Second Language Made Easier!

Should you say “award” or “reward”? Should you write “advise” or “advice”? If you study English, you know one thing for sure – English can sometimes be confusing!

Thanks to good ESL programs around, you get all the help you need to start learning and perfecting your skills.

ESL or English as Second Language online programs are designed to teach students to write and speak the language, guiding them through each lesson. They give you the opportunity to practice your communication skills in many varied ways and in your own space and time.

There is a number of innovative English language software around; Most of these may actually offer the same thing but if you are looking for the best there is, then here are the features you should be looking for:

Video Listening Section

This is step one, where a student is presented a “pre-listening” question that will serve as a guide while watching a dramatized video clip. The clip comes with a transcript and a set of main-idea questions and comprehension questions. 

Vocabulary Section

This is where specific words related to the video clip will be discussed in greater detail. Definitions, synonyms and antonyms are included here, which should help students understand the trickier words with greater ease.

Speaking Section

This is where the student can role-play one or both characters in the video by simply reading the transcript or speaking freely from memory. The dramatization in the video clip plays a major role here, as it will serve as the impetus for the use of English in role-playing.

Grammar Section

This section involves taking out a section of the video appropriate to the student’s level of knowledge, while a “Grammar Coach” program focuses on the proper use and placing of words in the extracted video segment. The student will then work with two grammar exercises to apply what was taught.

Task Listening Section

This is where a student simply listens to a set of instructions, advertisements or interviews. The student will then answer a set of questions related to the recording they listened to.

Reading Section

This is like the video listening section, except that the student reads related news articles on the video. This is followed by a comprehension activity to test how well the student understands what he or she just read.

Most other English software – or even English teachers for that matter – focuses on the word-for-word understanding of English. One example of this is the rote memorization of commonly used English words and phrases, which is then followed by the application of said words and phrases.

A good ESL program works by integrating information with the language. It immediately immerses a student in a contextual situation, where the words are not taught but actually used. The student is then expected to “connect the dots” between the words and the situation they are used in.

This is much like how a baby learns language, wherein the child is not taught the language word for word but simply picks them up as their parents use it on a day to day basis. 

Learning is a process and it needs to be approached logically and strategically. Proper sequencing of essential lessons makes learning a lot easier and less stressful. Developers of excellent programs know this and so they take time to develop a curriculum that is effective and well-structured