What is an English as a Second Language Program?

English as a Second Language (ESL) refers to an English language learning course for non-native speakers. ESL is also known as English as an additional language (EAL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Many ESL programs have small courses for learners to get personal attention from educators. Learners study English and take part in social and cultural activities of the community and school where they learn.

The goal of the English as a Second Language (ESL) is to enhance an English student’s level. Besides, ESL courses teach various English language skills based on the English needs, interests, and capabilities of the learners. All programs focus on vocabulary, writing, comprehension, reading, and grammar.

Many learners attend English as a Second Language (ESL) classes so as to enroll at a university or college. Here, you can pick an intensive program to learn English. Moreover, other English as Second Language learners wants to enhance their English for social or travel reasons. They can attend general English lessons so that they can practice how to speak in English and learn skills that are crucial for communication in various circumstances. Also, English business lessons are provided to learners who intend to study specific communication skills and vocabulary required so as to participate in business in English.

What is the Purpose of ESL?

English Language Programs usually teach students to speak, understand, write, and read in English more easily by enhancing their communication, vocabulary, and grammar skills. Nevertheless, there are numerous reasons to learn ESL schools:

  • ESL prepares students for studies in the profession, university, or college school.
  • They assist students in enhancing their performance in English examinations that they might require in the future, like IELTS or TOEFL.
  • They respond to the personal learning interest of learners by studying what interests them, like conversational English or business English.
  • They educate you on the firsthand culture of the country.
  • They assist you in finding numerous different and new people, in and out of school.
  • They equip learners with new culture and language, offering them numerous chances to practice English in the local community and at school.
  • They usually offer accommodation, social and cultural activities, and other learner activities to make their trips more satisfying and easier.

Pursuing an ESL program should also focus on the achievement of other objectives apart from the achievement of a goal.

Frequently Asked Questions About ESL

Who Participates in the ESL (English as a Second Language) Program?

What Is the Purpose of ESL?Learners whose major language is different from English, or whose first educated language is one apart from English, usually are eligible for the English as a Second Language program. For students to be eligible, they ought to have a proficiency English language level that is lower than that of native speakers in domains such as writing, reading, speaking, and listening. The proficiency level of a learner is determined by grades of the W-APT or ACCESS for ELLs.

How does the School System Know the First Language of a Student?

After enrolling in any school system in the United States, parents or guardians are required to complete a Home Language Survey (HLS). Questions that are asked regarding the language of the student include:

  • Is your first learned language anything other than English?
  • What language is most often spoken in your home?
  • What is the first language you learned to speak?
  • What language do you speak most often?

The learning institution considers a student to be a National Origin Minority (NOM) in case their first language is another one apart from English. The home language survey of the student is given to the National Origin Minority educator, who decides whether there is a need for ESL assessment.

How do you Assess a Student’s English level?

What Are the Rights of ESL Parents?The English level of a student is assessed through the administration of assessment tests. For instance, the state of North Carolina offers two ESL assessment tests to determine the proficiency level of learners. These tests include ACCESS for ELLs and W-APT. Moreover, all ESL educators are trained every year in order to administer tests to make sure that there are valid results.

What are the Different Levels of ESL Proficiency?

  • Level 1 Entering: Students know and use minimal academic language and minimal social language with visual aid.
  • Level 2 Emerging: Learners know and use some general academic language and social English with visual aid.
  • Level 3 Developing: Students know and use social English as well as specific academic language with visual aid.
  • Level 4 Expanding: Students know and use social English. Also, they can utilize some practical educational language.
  • Level 5 Bridging: Learners know and use academic and social language dealing with grade-level learning material.
  • Level 6 Reaching: In this level, learners know and use academic and social language at the uppermost level measured by the test.

What are the Services that One Can Receive Under the ESL Program?

There are many services that are provided to ESL learners based on their English language proficiency level. Services that one can get from the ESL program include;

1.ELI – English Language Institute

Grades 1 and 2 learners who have an English language level of under level 4 are eligible for this service. Additionally, students are taught 3-4 days each week by qualified ESL educators.


English as Second Language learners are pulled from their normal classrooms by ESL teachers so that they can work towards the improvement of their skills in the English language. The individual needs of learners and their speaking, listening, writing, and reading English proficiency levels dictate the duration required for the service.

3.Monitored Support

Students who score a combination of level 5 Bridging and level 6 Reaching on the ACCESS for ELLs would not get direct English as a Second Language (ESL) services. ESL teachers have to consult with regular teachers regarding the academic progress of learners. In case of any need, consultative learners might be offered ESL services to enable them to work on particular English language skills.

4.Multi-level ESL Elective Course

The course is offered to high school students (grades 9-12) who have a proficiency level of English language in writing and reading below Level 5 Bridging. Additionally, the course is provided as an optional credit, and learners must register for this course for spring and fall semesters. Besides, the instructor works with learners so as to enhance their skills in English in order to succeed in their college or high school courses.

How do you Know the Types of ESL Services you will Get?

According to the federal law of “No Child Left Behind,” schools are supposed to inform parents in writing regarding the type of services that the English as Second Language program a student gets. The ESL educator sends a “Notice of Eligibility” to parents or guardians at the start of every school calendar year with details about every student. In case parents or guardians don’t undertint the information offered on the notice, they might get in touch with the school and call for a meeting with ESL educators.

How do You Get Out of ESL?

To observe the requirements of federal and state governments, each ESL learner is re-evaluated yearly with the proper ACCESS for ELLs level in February and March. Learners who meet the exit criteria of the state can get out of the ESL program and would no longer be eligible for accommodations on the EOC and EOG tests. Notably, parents will be notified through writing regarding the exit of their teenager from the English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Additionally, a copy of the withdrawal form is placed in the ESL folder and cumulative folder of the student.

What are the Rights of ESL Parents?

Parents have specific rights regarding the participation of their teens in the English as a Second Language (ESL);

  • Parents have the right to right to decline the participation of their teen in the English as a Second Language program. Besides, you can request their teens to opt-out of the program at any time. Notably, your students are not supposed to get directed ESL services. Nevertheless, students can still be allowed to take the LEP program and might be eligible for testing accommodations depending on their levels of proficiency.
  • Parents have the right to seek assistance when it comes to the selection of programs as well as making decisions regarding the education of the teen. In case of any question, get in touch with High School of America so that qualified educators can schedule a meeting with you so that they can discuss choices that are accessible to your teen.

Resources and References: