ESL Classes for Adults
The Benefits of ESL Classes
The benefits of ESL often start in the classroom. A well-designed ESL program fosters English language acquisition but not at the expense of a student’s native language. Researchers have studied the role of bilingualism and biculturalism as assets in positive psychology and concluded that the positive factors include personal identity, family and community connections, academic achievement, and future employment opportunities.
Personal identity — A well-structured ESL class, taught by an engaging and empathetic teacher, will prioritize students’ personal identities. There is inherent pride in knowing the language of your culture and heritage. When an ESL class teaches both academic and social English while preserving students’ fluency in their native languages, the students develop a sense of historic identity and cultural connection.
Family and community connections — It is also important to maintain a student’s original language in neighborhoods where two or more languages are prevalent. As both children and adult students learn English, the benefit of ESL is that they can communicate with native-speaking friends and family within the community while reaching out to people who communicate only in English. These ELLs can bridge the gap between their families and the rest of the world.
Academic achievement — In addition to the findings by the Department of Education, additional observations show bilingual students pick up certain pre-reading skills faster than their monolingual classmates. Bilingualism is also associated with many other cognitive benefits that translate into academic achievements, like stronger multitasking skills, creativity, and working memory.
Future employment opportunities — Bilingual adults can enjoy more employment opportunities than their monolingual colleagues. The demand for well-educated bilinguals continues to grow worldwide as the global business model expands.
Changes in global financial and social climates continue to reveal the benefits of ESL programs. An experienced educator can adapt to this trend by earning a master’s degree in ESL education. By taking the required courses for a degree program like the one offered online through Lamar University, you can earn an advanced degree in teacher leadership while preparing for ESL education certification.