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ESL vs. English


How are ESL classes different from English classes?

English courses in the ESL Department are taught by instructors with training and experience working with second language learners. These classes are designed for the ways non-native English learners learn the language, and are, therefore, more appropriate for the foreign student learning English as a second language. Here are some of the highlights these courses offer which make them different from classes in the English Department.

ESL classes:

  • are more intensive and academic than some of the remedial English courses
  • use specialized materials designed for second language learning
  • offer a supportive environment which helps students build the confidence to ask questions and speak out in class (the American learning style)
  • cover vocabulary, idioms and other culture-specific content
  • teach students to move away from translation and dependence on bilingual dictionaries
  • help with adjustment to a new academic system and the social/cultural environment in the U.S.
  • provide a great mix of interesting students from all over the world - a chance to make lots of new friends

ESL courses help students make the transition from the study of a "foreign" language in their home country to usage of English as a practical everyday language necessary for success in all college level courses.