Resource Guide to English as a Second Language
English is known as the international language and is spoken worldwide. It is almost accepted that everyone should learn to speak English as it is a tool that is used to bridge international borders and divides. It has even become a requirement in some countries for their students to learn English. For those still unconvinced, here are reasons why everyone should consider learning English as a second language.
The majority of pages on the Internet are written in English and as English is held in high regard worldwide, you can find English speaking books, magazines, and newspapers in virtually every corner of the earth. In addition to the communication benefits held for those who speak English, it is one of the easiest languages to learn. Other benefits include the ability to join a variety of professional associations that speak and write English, qualifying for higher paying jobs, and having the ability to participate in a wide variety of educational opportunities. There is no doubt that the benefits of learning English are vast.
Everyone learns a new language in a different way, but one thing everyone can agree upon is that the Internet has opened up new doorways for those seeking to learn a foreign language. Through on-line sites, students can learn vocabulary words, hear audio pronunciations, watch videos that demonstrate meanings of slang words or idioms and have access to methods that teach the practical meanings of the English language. ESL websites also provide a plethora of opportunities for the student to practice their newly found skills. Whether playing games, watching videos, or using audio to practice inflection and pronunciation, those learning English as a second language will find the Internet provides numerous free resources for those working on their skills.
One question frequently asked of those considering learning English is whether or not they are too old to undertake the endeavor. There is no perfect age to learn a second language and though it is true that young children absorb language readily and easily, anyone can learn a second language. More important than age is frequency of practice, repetition, and continual study. Those who are older shouldn't feel intimidated regarding learning a second language. As long as they are committed and have the resources readily available for learning and practice, they can successfully learn to read, write, and speak English fluently.
Grammar may be best defined as the way words are used to form sentences and compose a language. Those learning English as a second language will need to focus on grammar as this will help ensure that words are used correctly. There are several aspects to grammar and the word forms used and these include tense, the use of idioms and articles, verb usage and mood. Just as it's important to understand different idioms to ensure the best meaning of a word is translated, it's also important for new learners of English to become familiar with slang.
Idioms and slangs can be very troublesome for many new English learners. There are numerous words that hold more than one meaning and when these words are used as slang, a new English learner may become easily confused. As slang words vary from one corner of the United States to the next, it may seem like a never-ending problem. The resources below will help those learning English as a second language to separate idioms and slangs from traditional English words and their meanings.
Those learning a second language should remain aware of what technique works best for them. If a student finds that a particular method isn't delivering expected results, they should find another method as there are numerous games, flashcards, audio lessons, books and other resources available that can help ensure one successfully masters a second, third or fourth language.
Ensure the goals you set are realistic. Those learning a new language shouldn't expect to master the subject in a matter of hours. It will take time to feel comfortable speaking a second language, and depending upon the level the student wishes to achieve; learning may be a lifelong process. Patience is essential for anyone learning a new language. Before mastering vocabulary and grammar, one must have a realistic plan and determine a reasonable pace before testing their progress. It is important to focus on both grammar and vocabulary and not sacrifice one for the other. It isn't enough to learn as many words as possible if you aren't sure how to use them correctly. By devoting equal amounts of study and practice to grammar and vocabulary, you can rest assured that you are learning the essentials of the language and will be prepared for using your new language in real life applications.
The following links will lead you to numerous ESL resources and websites that focus on teaching English grammar, vocabulary, slangs, and idioms and provides plenty of on-line practice.
- Online Slang Dictionary
- ESL Slang Page
- American Slang for ESL Students
- Using English: Idioms
- ESL FLix
- English Vocabulary Word List
- The ESL Study Hall: Vocabulary
- A Guide to Learning English
- ESL Lab
- English Interactive