Importance Of English Language Essay

500 words importance of english language essay.

The English Language is becoming more and more common in the world. As a result, increasingly people are dedicating time to study English as their second language. In fact, many countries include it in their school syllabus to teach children this language from a young age. However, the true value of this language is that it helps remove many barriers from our life. Whether it is to find a new job or travel the world. In other words, it helps to progress in life both on a personal and professional level. Thus, the Importance of English Language Essay will help you understand all about it.

importance of english language essay

Importance Of English Language

Language is our major means of communication; it is how we share our thoughts with others. A language’s secondary purpose is to convey someone’s sentiments, emotions, or attitudes. English is one such language in the world that satisfies both the above purposes. English has been regarded as the first global Lingua Franca. It has become part and parcel of almost every existing field. We use it as the international language to communicate in many fields ranging from business to entertainment.

Many countries teach and encourage youngsters to acquire English as a second language. Even in nations where English is not an official language, many science and engineering curriculum are written in English.

English abilities will most certainly aid you in any business endeavours you choose to pursue. Many large corporations will only hire professional employees after determining whether or not they speak good English. Given the language’s prominence, English language classes will be advantageous to you if you want to work for a multinational organization and will teach you the communication skills needed to network with professionals in your area or enhance your career.

The English Language opens an ocean of career opportunities to those who speak this language anywhere in the world. Similarly, it has turned into an inevitable requirement for various fields and professions like medicine , computing and more.

In the fast-evolving world, it is essential to have a common language that we can understand to make the best use of the data and information available. As a result, the English Language has become a storehouse of various knowledge ranging from social to political fields.

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Reasons to Learn the English Language

As the importance of the English Language is clear now, we move on to why we must learn the English Language. First of all, it is a global language. It is so common that one out of five people can speak or understand this language.

Further, learning the English Language can help in getting a job easily. As it has become the language of many fields, it automatically increases the chances of landing a good job in a good company.

In addition, it helps with meeting new people. As it is the official language of 53 countries, learning it helps to break the language barriers. Most importantly, it is also the language of the Internet.

Another important reason to learn this language is that it makes travelling easier. Being a widely used language globally, it will help you connect with people easily. Similarly, it is also essential in the world of business.

It does not matter whether you are an employee or employer, it benefits everyone. Students who wish to study abroad must definitely study this language. Many countries use their schools and universities. So, it can offer a good opportunity for students.

Why and where do we need the English language?

  • Use of English on the Internet – Because of the tremendous rise of information technology, particularly the internet, English is the language of choice for Internet users. The internet has also played an important role in promoting and spreading the English language throughout the world, as more and more people are exposed to it, and English has also become the language of the internet.
  • Use of English in Education – English has become one of the majorly used languages to understand, learn and explain concepts from various fields of knowledge. The majority of instructional tools, materials, and texts are written in English. The global educational systems at colleges all over the world need English as a foreign language.
  • Use of English for Travel purposes – As we all know, English has been named as the official language of 53 countries and over 400 million people in the world speak English, the English language comes in handy for communicating with everyone when anyone travels around the world be it for tourism, job opportunity, settlement, casual visits, etc.
  • Use of English for Communication – The most important function of a language is to allow people to communicate effectively. For many years, English has been the most widely known and valued language on the planet. In other words, English becomes an efficient tool for communicating with people all over the world.

Conclusion of Importance Of English Language Essay

We use the English Language in most of our international communications. While it is not the most spoken language in the world, 53 countries have named it their official language. Moreover, about 400 million people globally use it as their first language. Thus, being the most common second language in the world, it will be beneficial to learn this language to open doors to new opportunities.

FAQ on Importance Of English Language Essay

Question 1: How does the English Language help you get a job?

Answer 1: the  English Language is the language of many things like science, aviation, computers, diplomacy, and tourism. Thus, if you know English, it will increase your chances of landing a good job in an international company.

Question 2: Does the English Language help in connecting with people globally?

Answer 2: Yes, it does. It is because English is the official language of 53 countries and we use it as a lingua franca (a mutually known language) by people from all over the world. This means that studying English can help us have a conversation with people on a global level.

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Learning English as a Second Language: Why and How?

If you haven’t found the motivation or a suitable method to learn English as a second language, look inside. We have all the answers.

Why Learn English in the First Place?

What is esl, common obstacles esl students may face, how to get started with learning esl, how to choose a suitable esl program, the bottom line.

Characters talking about traveling, one of them thinks about improving their English

It’s no secret that English is the most widely spoken language in the world. In fact, there are more than 1.5 billion English speakers worldwide, of which over a billion people are non-native English speakers. And that number is only increasing as more and more people choose to learn English as a second language.

However, if you're going to learn a foreign language from scratch, it can be difficult to know where to start. With so many different resources and methods available, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.

But don't worry, we're here to help! We already talked about teaching English as a foreign language, but in this article, we’ll focus on why taking ESL classes can be beneficial, and we’ll give you some tips on how to get started. Let's dive in!

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Before we get into how to learn English, let's first take a look at some of the benefits of learning this language. Whether you're looking to improve your career prospects, make new friends, or travel the world, learning English can help you achieve your goals.

Here are just a few of the many advantages of learning English as a second language:

  • English is the language of business , so learning it can help you boost your career prospects.
  • English is the language of travel, so learning it can help you learn more about foreign cultures and make the most of your vacations.
  • English is the language of technology and science , so learning it can help you stay connected with the latest industry trends, as well as enhance your professional expertise.
  • English is the language of culture , so learning it can help you better understand films, books, and music from around the world.

Other than that, learning English can also help improve your communication skills , build your confidence , and make you more independent .

So, as you can see, learning English as a second language can be a truly rewarding experience. If you want to get a fuller picture of these benefits, make sure to check our article on reasons to start your English language learning journey now.

ESL stands for English as a Second Language . It's a type of language instruction for non-native English speakers who want to improve their language skills.

ESL classes can be taken online or in a classroom setting, and they can be taken at different levels, from beginner to advanced. Usually, they focus on teaching English grammar, vocabulary, and conversation skills. Many classes also include cultural lessons to help ESL students better understand life in an English-speaking country.

There are also a variety of specialized ESL programs available, such as business English or medical English, so it's important to choose one that's right for your needs. For example, if you're looking to improve your English for business purposes, you'll want to choose a course that focuses on business vocabulary and conversation.

Choosing the right ESL program is an important decision, as it will determine how quickly and effectively you learn English. When choosing a program, it's important to consider your learning goals, schedule, and budget.

To be successful in an academic setting, students need more than just basic language skills. They also need what's known as cognitive academic language proficiency ( CALP ).

CALP is the ability to think critically and solve problems in the English language. It's often referred to as higher-order thinking, and it's an essential skill for ESL students who want to succeed in an academic setting.

Fortunately, ESL classes can help students develop CALP. By providing opportunities to listen to lectures, read academic texts, and write essays in English, ESL classes give English learners the chance to practice and improve their CALP skills, regardless of their native language.

Character imagining himself becoming a doctor

Learning English as a second language is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging. After all, there are so many new words and rules for beginning English language learners to get overwhelmed by.

Here are some common obstacles that ESL students may face along the way and how to overcome them:

One of the biggest challenges for non-native speakers is overcoming language barriers . This can be difficult, especially for beginners, but it's important to remember that everyone starts at the same place. With time and practice, you'll be able to understand and be understood in English.

Another common obstacle is cultural differences . This is especially true for students who are learning English in a country where the culture is different from their own. However, it can be helpful to learn about the culture of your new classmates, as this will make it easier to communicate and connect with them.

Finally, many ESL students are afraid of making mistakes . But, this is perfectly normal – even native English speakers make them! Making mistakes is how we learn. The important thing is to not let your mistakes stop you from speaking English. The more you practice, the better you'll become, and eventually, you'll make fewer and fewer mistakes.

Character not understanding what others are saying

If you're interested in learning ESL, there are a few things you'll need to do to get started.

First, you'll need to assess your current level of English . This will help you determine which classes or programs are right for you. There are a variety of online tests and quizzes that can help you determine your English level, such as the Cambridge English Placement Test ( CEPT ) or the Duolingo English Test.

Next, you should find a suitable ESL program. There are many different programs available, so it's important to do your research and choose one that meets your needs. If you don’t know where to start looking, you can check the ESL directory that enables searching for programs by country. Once you've found a program, you can start your learning journey!

You'll also need to make sure you have the right resources at hand. There are a number of excellent books, websites, and apps that can help you learn English effectively, such as Langster, which focuses on learning English through stories. Some of our other favorites include Duolingo, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone.

Furthermore, you'll need to find a way to practice English outside of the classroom . This is essential for developing your speaking and listening skills. There are a number of ways to do this, such as finding an English-speaking friend to practice with or watching English-language movies and TV shows with subtitles.

Finally, make sure to set some realistic goals for yourself. Learning a foreign language takes time, so don't expect to become fluent overnight. By setting small, achievable goals, you'll be more likely to stick with them and see desired results over time.

We have a bunch of articles dedicated to learning English from scratch and honing particular English language skills both online and in a classroom setting. Make sure to browse them for more information on topics you’re particularly interested in.

A character's plan for learning English

With so many different ESL courses available, it can be difficult to know how to choose the right one. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision:

  • Learning goals . What do you hope to achieve by learning English? Do you want to improve your speaking skills? Build your vocabulary? Learn grammar rules? Once you know your goals, you'll be able to narrow down your options and choose a program that's right for you.
  • Schedule . How much time do you have to dedicate to learning English? Are you looking for a full-time program or something more flexible? Make sure to choose a program that fits your schedule and lifestyle so that learning won’t feel like a chore.
  • Budget . There are a variety of programs available at different price points. Do some research to find one that's affordable for you.
  • Read reviews! Once you've found a few programs you're interested in, check out online reviews to get a sense of what other students have thought about the program.

With these criteria in mind, you should be able to find an ESL program that's right for you.

Character in front of the world map, thinking about going to Canada

Learning English as a second language can have numerous benefits. It can improve your communication skills, help you learn new vocabulary and grammar rules, and even make you new friends from around the world.

And, with so many different programs available, there's sure to be one that's right for you – just make sure you stay motivated and set achievable goals. So, why not give it a try? You may be surprised at just how much you can learn!

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Ellis is a seasoned polyglot and one of the creative minds behind Langster Blog, where she shares effective language learning strategies and insights from her own journey mastering the four languages. Ellis strives to empower learners globally to embrace new languages with confidence and curiosity. Off the blog, she immerses herself in exploring diverse cultures through cinema and contemporary fiction, further fueling her passion for language and connection.

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Teaching English As a Foreign Language: Tips and Resources

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8 Tips to Write Better Essays in English

Learning a foreign language is an overwhelming experience, especially if it’s one of the most widely spoken languages in the world – English.

Many people are under the impression that learning to read and speak in English is enough without realizing that written English skills are an equally vital asset to have.

From improving academics to boosting career prospects – the ability to write in English not only lets you communicate and express yourself better in today’s globalized world but also makes you more confident.

An effective way to improve your writing skills is to write essays. Wondering where to begin? We bring you eight useful tips to write better essays in English.

1. Keep a Vocabulary Notebook

Using the right vocabulary is an essential element of writing essays. When you make efforts to expand your vocabulary, you will be able to pick accurate words to take your writing to the next level.

Instead of coming across new words and forgetting about them, it’s a good idea to make a note of them in your vocabulary notebook. Doing this helps you remember the meanings of new words and you can also refer to it while writing essays.

So, give yourself a target to learn at least ten new words every day, which you can jot down in your diary and take baby steps in building a strong vocabulary.

2. Refer to Credible Sources

Research forms the first step in writing any kind of essay. The stronger your research, the better is the quality of your essay.

At a time when we have access to a wide range of data, it’s important to evaluate research sources carefully and only refer to credible ones. For example, Wikipedia is not a reliable source and should not be attributed to while writing essays.

Take the effort to read through published journals, research studies, scholarly papers, academic databases, and encyclopedias published within the last 10-15 years. It’s also important to assess the credibility of the author while evaluating the source.

3. Draft a Basic Outline

Once you’ve done your research, don’t rush to write. Take a moment to draft a basic outline for your essay and organize your research and findings.

“Is that necessary,” you ask? Very much.

Working on an outline lets you approach the essay in an organized manner. It serves as the skeleton of your paper while ensuring you’re not missing out on any information and that your points flow logically.

Most essays are categorized into – introduction, body, and conclusion.

The introduction is where you introduce the topic and give context. The body paragraphs need to include your arguments and research methodology (if any). The conclusion needs to reiterate the thesis statement and tie all the points together.

4. Hook the Reader

With attention spans getting shorter with time, it’s become all the more important to start with a bang and hook the reader from the beginning to ensure they are invested in your writing.

Essay hooks refer to the first one or two sentences of your essay which have the power to make or break the reader’s interest. The key is to write a hook that grabs the reader’s attention and reels them in.

From an alarming statistic and relevant quote to using humor and asking a rhetoric question – there are various tactics you can employ to keep the reader engaged.

If you’re unable to think of an impactful essay hook, don’t waste too much time on it. Finish the rest of your essay and come back to write a compelling hook later.

5. Use the Pomodoro Technique

It’s not easy to write an essay in one go, especially if it’s not in your first language.

A smart way to approach essay writing is to use the Pomodoro technique. This technique asks you to set a timer for 25 minutes to finish your task in question and then take a 5-minute break. After four cycles of repeating this, you get to take an extended 20-minute break.

So, start with breaking down the assignment into smaller tasks such as research, outlining, writing the different paragraphs, citing references and proofreading. You can then set the timer, start working on the essay as per the technique and track your progress.

Using this technique keeps distractions at bay and helps you stay more focused.

6. Pay Attention to Grammar Rules

You may raise interesting points in your essay, but poor grammar disrupts the reading experience and should be avoided at all costs.

Be careful when adding punctuations, check your sentence formations, avoid passive voice as much as possible and know the difference between adjectives, adverbs, nouns and verbs.

So  abide by grammar rules to deliver a well-written and cohesive essay.

7. Write with Clarity

You might be tempted to use complex metaphors and jargons to impress the reader, but the truth is, none of that guarantees “good” writing.

One of the most important ingredients of effective writing is clarity. You don’t want to leave the reader confused and puzzled after reading your essay. So, use simple words, stop beating around the bush and explain concepts with the help of examples because clear writing always wins.

8. Reread the Essay

Finally, make it a point to proofread your essay (multiple times) to ensure you have covered all the aspects, cited references accurately and not made any silly errors.

It’s a good idea to read your essay out loud so you’re able to identify errors and awkwardly formed sentences with ease. You should also get a friend or family member to read your essay, to spot mistakes or discrepancies that you may have overlooked.

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35 comments

Thanks a lot all we can derive from reading is the technique to write with clarity, good research and involvement of readers in writing.

Thank a lot dear EnglishClub, it’s help me a lot

I think it is very good site for learn essay writing

As a teacher trainer this contribution is helpful

Thanks for the tips! I’ll have an essay tomorrow and this will surlely prepare me!

Thank you so much

Thanks Please I will like to know more

thank you so much for your amazing informations

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Nice one but I don’t understand yet

Knowledge supporter is who u are, keep d good work nd ur reward is from God nd thanks.

thanks alot for your tips…your tips will help me alot while examss!!!

Thank you so much for information ☺️

Thank you ☺️

Thank you 💯💯💯💯💯💯

My hobby is home garden

ur intentinon and thoughts was very nce its useful to somny pepole to learn english tysomuch adela belin

Thanks you for helping

This did help a lot! Thank you very much 🥰

Good tips, I should give it a try, after all, we all improve by exercising hard so I’ll just do the same thing, but right now I gotta focus on what matters, and what I need now is to read as much as I can to know how to spell the words right. Is grammar so important in this task, I mean can’t I just pick the things up because of my experience in listening skill ?

Thanks for the information!

This is a nice explanation ,,,,,proud of you!

Is very interesting for me I really apreicete you help

Thanks so much for these useful tips!! Now, I need to start preparing my essay (“starting” has been always the stone on my way :$)

Please, what is the difference between an essay and an article?

Are they same?

Thanks in advance,

Thanks & best regards English Club

Helpful updated tips to share with our students!! thankssss

I want to know if it is only at the University or if we may take the course online.

Thank you verry much for important advices

thank for your key points, this is really helpful

Thank you and best wishes,

Very pragmatic and helpful essay. Thank so much English club

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These are the benefits of learning a second language

People enjoy a warm autumn evening on the edge of the lake of Zurich October 5, 2007.  REUTERS/Christian Hartmann (SWITZERLAND) - GM1DWHPZHEAA

In the US, just 20% of students learn another language. Image:  REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

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learning english as second language essay

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There are many advantages to learning a second language. Some are fairly obvious. If you find yourself lost in a foreign country, being able to express yourself clearly could help lead you to your destination. Similarly, if your job requires you to travel you may find it easier to vault language and cultural barriers.

But there are other benefits that are not so immediately apparent. For example, learning another language could improve your all-round cognitive ability. It could help hone your soft skills, and even increase your mastery of your mother tongue, too.

Some studies have apparently identified a link between being multilingual and fending off the onset of dementia . Others indicate that being able to speak more than one language can help you become better at multitasking in other aspects of your daily life, too.

Deciding on which additional language or languages to learn is often a matter of chance and personal preference. Maybe you have a parent or grandparent who is a native of another country, so you were brought up being able to speak their language. Perhaps your family regularly took vacations in a particular foreign country when you were a child and that sparked your interest. Or it could just be that you had a very engaging teacher who instilled in you a love for languages.

But deciding whether to learn one at all would appear to be determined more by your mother language than anything else. In short, native-born English speakers are far less likely to learn a second language than many other people.

In the US, just 20% of students learn a foreign language . Meanwhile, in parts of Europe that figure stands at 100%. Across the whole of Europe the median is 92%, and is at least 80% in 29 separate European countries investigated by Pew Research. In 15 of those 29, it’s 90% or more.

Down under, around 21% of people can use a second language , although only 73% of Australian households identified as English-speaking in the 2016 census. In Canada, only 6.2% of people speak something other than the country’s two official languages , English and French.

Have you read?

These are the world’s most spoken languages, our language needs to evolve alongside ai. here's how, here's why we like some words more than others.

In the UK, fewer school students are studying languages to exam levels at ages 16 or 18. Since 2013, the numbers of studying a language at GCSE level – the end of secondary schooling examination taken by most 16-year-olds in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - have fallen between 30% and 50%. Scotland has its own exam system but the drop off in language study is comparable.

The UK has a long-standing tradition of teaching French and German at secondary school level, although not always with tremendous success: Brits are not famed for their multilingual skills. However, the popularity of both those languages has plummeted in UK schools. Less than 20 years ago, just 2,500 students were taking a language other than French, German, Spanish or Welsh – which is a mandatory curriculum requirement in Wales. But by 2017, according to numbers acquired by the BBC, that had shot up to 9,400.

Two languages that are growing in popularity in the UK are Spanish and Chinese, the BBC found. Chinese, of course, is the most widely spoken language in the world. However, in the online sphere it’s a close second to English. Online, English is used by 25.4% of people. For Chinese, it’s 19.3%. Both are way ahead of third-placed Spanish which is used by 8.1% of internet users.

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How English as a Second Language Affects Learning

Millions of U.S. students must learn English to access the rest of the curriculum -- and teachers are stepping up to help.

How ESL Affects Learning

learning english as second language essay

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To meet the need, a growing number of schools and districts seek out teachers with ESL training and some require teachers with ESL certification, regardless of the subject they teach.

Almost one in 10 U.S. students in grades K-12 — about 5 million children total — are pulling double duty in school, learning English as a second language while absorbing math, science, social studies and all of the other subjects they need.

That number increased by about 1 million students over the past two decades, according to the latest statistics available from the U.S. Department of Education. While about three-quarters of those students speak Spanish at home, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, Somali and Russian are also on the top 10 list, according to federal data .

The increasingly multilingual character of America’s student population creates a high-stakes challenge for all parties involved, including children in classrooms, parents who want to see them flourish and educators charged with teaching an increasingly diverse population.

A student’s ability to learn English impacts their ability to learn other subjects, and decades of research have gone into evolving frameworks and curriculum to support English learners. Now, schools are increasingly looking for teachers with specialized skills, training and cultural sensitivity to ensure that English is accessible.

“Unless you’re explicit and purposeful about language development, it won't happen,” says Tomás Galguera, a professor of education at Mills College in Oakland, California. “It must be done in a hands-on, direct way. That’s why teacher education must have a framework. It is so much more complex than vocabulary.”

Teaching An Increasingly Diverse Student Population

A Brookings Institution report in 2017 noted that America’s need for teachers with ESL training is growing. The increasing immigrant population and the move to more integrated instruction, in which English language learners are educated alongside native speakers in the same classroom, means that teachers nationwide are more likely to be confronted with students who are still learning English.

“Most teachers, regardless of where they teach, will have a very good chance of encountering ELs (English learners) during their careers,” the report says. “This creates a need not only for specialists but also for general teachers who are prepared to support ELs in the classroom.”

There are few better examples than the Los Angeles Unified School District, which serves 600,000 K-12 students across more than 1,000 schools. Roughly 45% of those students are either in the process of learning English as a second language or have transitioned out of that phase.

“If you look at the makeup of Los Angeles, LA Unified represents a tapestry of multiculturalism and multilingualism,” says Lydia Acosta Stephens, executive director of the district’s Multilingual and Multicultural Education Department.

Teaching English, experts say, goes far beyond the basics of oral and written language instruction. It often requires cultural understanding.

“We believe in the value of every child,” Stephens says. “It always begins by knowing a child’s name and then their potential, needs, and social and emotional assets — and we don't stop there. Our ultimate goal is building on who they are.”

Experts say that starts with eliminating any stigma for those learning English. Stephens, herself once an English learner in Los Angeles schools, says that was not always the case. “There was shame for me to use my home language at school,” in the 1980s, she says. “It was not honored.”

“We’re beginning to change labels,” Galguera says. “Instead of ‘English learner,’ we call the students ‘bilingual.’”

Challenges for English Language Learners

Teaching English to students who have been raised speaking Spanish, Russian, Armenian, Vietnamese or other languages from around the world can present a variety of challenges, experts say.

For example, there is often trauma involved in making the transition to a new school system in a new country with a different language. A student who arrives in a U.S. school with a strong academic background from a stable country has different needs than one whose family fled war or poverty and who may have little schooling, Galguera says.

“There are more basic needs that the teacher needs to tend to than ever before,” he says.

Because some English learners may have witnessed “the ugly side of life,” Galguera says young teachers are taught to be more aware of their actions and to see classroom policies and procedures through the lens of the student. “For example, putting a hand on the shoulder of a student can be triggering,” Galguera says, rather than the caring gesture that was intended.

Local or national attitudes about immigrants can also present a problem, Stephens says. In recent years, immigration has become a flashpoint in the national political conversation, and children can be confronted with hurtful, negative rhetoric.

Yet ensuring that students are able to feel safe and learn amid all of this is vital because learning English is integral to accessing the rest of the curriculum.

“The bottom line is they have to learn valuable content like math,” Galguera says.

The Importance of ESL Training

To meet the need, a growing number of schools and districts seek out teachers with ESL training and some require teachers with ESL certification, regardless of the subject they teach. Many colleges and universities have integrated that training into their teacher education programs so new teachers can apply it throughout their careers.

At Bradley University in Illinois, for example, the school’s education program embeds ESL, culture and history within the curriculum, says Dean Cantu, associate dean and chair of the Department of Teacher Education.

“ESL plays a major role for our students,” Cantu says. “We have embedded [ESL] in many of our degree programs, including childhood education, elementary education, special education and middle school education.”

The highest percentage of English learners in K-12 are in the western portion of the country, in states such as California (20%), Texas (17%), Nevada (16%), New Mexico (13%) and Colorado (12%), according to federal statistics. But the number jumped 28% nationwide between 2000 and 2017, with 43 states seeing an increase.

“The need is here today and it’s also going to be here tomorrow,” Cantu says of the demand for ESL teacher training. “It’s an essential skill set for our students to have over the course of their career. It’s in high demand.”

Searching for a school? Explore our K-12 directory .

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Personal Growth and Development — My Experience of Learning a New Language

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My Experience of Learning a New Language

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Updated: 5 December, 2023

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Words: 678 | Page: 1 | 4 min read

Works Cited

  • Gardner, R. C., & Lambert, W. E. (1972). Attitudes and Motivation in Second-Language Learning. Newbury House Publishers.
  • Dörnyei, Z., & Ushioda, E. (2011). Teaching and Researching Motivation (2nd ed.). Routledge.
  • Brown, H. D. (2007). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching (5th ed.). Pearson Education.
  • Cook, V. (2008). Second Language Learning and Language Teaching (4th ed.). Routledge.
  • Ellis, R. (2008). The Study of Second Language Acquisition (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.
  • Larsen-Freeman, D., & Anderson, M. (2013). Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.
  • Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (2013). How Languages are Learned (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.
  • Nunan, D. (2004). Task-Based Language Teaching. Cambridge University Press.
  • Nation, P. (2001). Learning Vocabulary in Another Language. Cambridge University Press.
  • Schmitt, N., & McCarthy, M. (Eds.). (1997). Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition, and Pedagogy. Cambridge University Press.

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learning english as second language essay

ESL004: Advanced English as a Second Language

Course introduction.

  • Time: 12 hours
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In Unit 1, you will strengthen your grammar skills by learning the basics of punctuation. You'll examine how changing punctuation can change the entire meaning of a sentence. Unit 2 connects reading to building a robust vocabulary. You'll explore how mapping a reading allows you to find new words to explain things and see different concepts. Finally, in Unit 3, you'll pull everything together by drawing your own conclusions about what you've read and explaining those conclusions to your readers. By the end of ESL004, you'll be able to use punctuation, vocabulary, and mapping to write a short, cohesive essay that will prepare you for future academic work.

Course Syllabus

After you read the course syllabus, click the "Enroll me" button to enroll in this course. Then, go to Unit 1 and read the unit introduction and the learning outcomes that follow it. You will see each unit's learning materials after the unit introduction and learning outcomes.

learning english as second language essay

How Good Is Your English?

When you are learning a new language, you should be able to measure your growth and improvement. In this section, you will complete activities that demonstrate your knowledge of English so you can measure your success as you complete our series of ESL courses.

learning english as second language essay

How strong is your English grammar? Complete this ungraded activity to test your knowledge of sentence structure.

How strong is your English vocabulary? Complete this ungraded activity to measure your vocabulary size.

learning english as second language essay

Unit 1: Those Little Marks – Punctuation

Unit 1 introduces you to punctuation and explains the correct way to use periods, exclamation points, question marks, and commas. It's important to punctuate a sentence appropriately to make its meaning clear to your reader. In this unit, you'll learn when to use a punctuation mark, which mark to use, and what makes these marks different. Finally, you'll practice matching the correct punctuation mark to its sentence. 

Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.

Unit 2: Read, Read, and Read More!

In this unit, you will read for the purpose of building your vocabulary for your field of study. When you begin studying a topic in college, it will be important to know the words being used and what they mean. For example, a "program" means one thing when used in computer science and another thing when used in business. In this unit, you'll learn to use strategies to find and keep track of those specialized vocabulary words. Finally, you'll practice "mapping" what you read to organize the terms and ideas you find. At the end of this unit, you'll know how to develop a larger vocabulary to help you move forward in your college studies.

Completing this unit should take you approximately 4 hours.

Unit 3: Reading to Write

This unit connects the punctuation and writing clarity skills you gained in Unit 1 to the vocabulary and reading strategies you practiced in Unit 2. Now that you're able to read about concepts that interest you, you'll want to clearly and correctly present those ideas to others through your writing. In this unit, you'll learn how to synthesize, or bring together, the knowledge you already have on a topic with the things you learn in your program of study. You'll then write about that synthesis using grammatically correct and clear sentences. At the end of this unit, you'll be able to clearly explain what you know about a topic and what you still want to learn.

Completing this unit should take you approximately 5 hours.

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Argumentative Essay: Reasons You Should Learn English

If you plan on making your way in the world, learning a second language is imperative. English has a foothold as the “language of business,” and being so, has become the most commonly learnt second language amongst foreign language speakers. Not only is English significant in the business world, but in general, when people of differing native languages congregate, English is the language of everyday conversation. Again, this is because it’s most commonly taught in foreign schools, as English is the collective language spoken by 1.8 billion people worldwide, or 27% of the world’s population. By virtue of this, for those willing to make the effort, learning English proffers forth benefits that learning any other second language mightn’t. Highlighted below are some of these benefits, including employment opportunities; technical, economic and scientific innovation; and cultural understanding.

As the language of business, English will open up the world to you in nearly any field of employment. Because it’s so important to be bilingual, any company in any country of the world prefers a bilingual employee – and even more so, an English-speaking one – over an employee who speaks only his/her native tongue. In being bilingual in English, you will be able to communicate with others in all corners of the world (remember, over 27% of the world’s population speaks English), and you will be able to translate for those in your company who do not speak English. This makes you an exceedingly vital communication tool. Not only will you be an asset to your company, but you will reap many benefits as a result, such as a larger annual income, a better standard of living, and the opportunity to live just about anywhere in the world.

Along with being the language of business, English is the language of economic development, as well as technical and scientific innovation. The United States is the leader in technical innovation and economic development and, as a consequence, the language to know in making your way in these fields is English. English is also the language of science, so scientists must be fluent in order to communicate their findings with others. Being successful in any one of these prosperous fields requires fluency in English.

Lastly a great benefit to learning English is that it increases cultural understanding, not only of native English-speaking cultures, but of any other country whose second language is English. The film and music industries are largely English-driven. The art, traditions and culture of any country, especially those of native English-speaking countries, can be better understood if you have some knowledge of the English language. Being centuries-old and having been the native language of empirical powers and world leaders, English remains a great source of influence in human history, weaved into the narrative of many cultures, and sewn, like a cultural seed, throughout time.

If you endeavor to learn a second language, that language should be English. The benefits it proffers – including employment opportunities; technical, economic and scientific innovation; and cultural understanding – are exceeded by no other language in the world.

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Learning English As A Second Language Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Literature , Politics , Media , Friendship , Learning , Writing , TESOL , English

Published: 12/17/2019

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English as a Second Language

Learning or acquisition of any language as a second one remains a challenge to anyone particularly if the countries of origin barely use it in their regular life (Boscov, 2012). This was my case was when I started learning English as my second language. I faced many obstacles to gain good command of English but I am happy I made it even though not proficient enough. It is important to note that the level of efficiency required by the learner highly relies on the area they want to apply it to. For instance, as a student who was to use English a medium of education I not only needed to understand it but express my ability to freely write in it (Patel, 2011). Even though English is not very difficult to learn, there are several areas that gave me a tough time. Initially, I had a problem with the multiplicity of the word-meaning and the vocabulary (Zinsser, 2012). Many vocabularies and meanings of many words still give me a hell of time, leaving me confused at times. In the end, understanding of the whole sentence to get the intended meaning becomes a problem. Construction of a good sentence in English was a nightmare although I am now in a good position to do so. Other areas that gave me a hard time to learn English include how to use prepositions and idiomatic expressions. Nevertheless, I am doing all my best to ensure that I improve my English on daily basis through writing and giving my friends to commend on it and reading English books and other forms of writings. Additionally, I listen and watch English music, news and movies especially on the TV channels dedicated for international audience. I practice a lot through communicating with my friends who are native English speakers and ask for help. As Sabatier (2012) points out, communication is one of the best ways to learn and acquire a second language.

English Alphabet and numbering (source: http://www.opb.org/thinkoutloud/shows/english-second-language/)

Zinsser, W. (2012). Writing English as a Second Language. Retrieved 15 May, 2012 from http://theamericanscholar.org/writing-english-as-a-second-language/ Patel, R. (2011). Second Language Acquisition: Problems of Learning English as a Second Language: ESL Difficulties. Retrieved 15 May, 2012 from http://saleheensblog.hubpages.com/hub/Problems-of-learning-English-as-a-foreign-or-second-language Boscov, N. (2012). Learning a Foreign Language Easily and Quickly – My Personal Experience. Retrieved 15 May, 2012 from http://nemanjaboskov.hubpages.com/hub/Learning-a-Foreign-Language-Easily-and-Quickly-My-Personal-Experience Sabatier, J. (2012). English as a Second Language. Retrieved 15 May, 2012 from http://www.opb.org/thinkoutloud/shows/english-second-language/

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11 ways to support international students who use English as a second language

We must all work to foster a compassionate and encouraging experience for our international student community

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Peter O'Rourke

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Internationalising university campuses is becoming a priority, with record increases of international students who now make up almost a quarter of all UK university students . Universities can follow some key principles to ensure these students transition well into academic life in the UK, no matter where they are from or what their level of English is (or appears to be). 

I worked for more than a decade teaching international students academic and general English, study skills and intercultural competence. Lecturers working with international students frequently raised concerns and sought my advice on integrating their students. Feedback from lecturers has included:

  • Students seem reticent
  • Students struggle with expressing themselves orally
  • It appears students understand, but then their work falls below the expected standard
  • Students aren’t taking on board feedback and suggestions.

On the other hand, some of the international students I worked with would often confide in me, saying:

  • “I don’t always understand the feedback”
  • “I find it hard to articulate myself during seminars and group work”
  • “My tutors are very busy” or “I haven’t heard back from them”
  • “My English is terrible.”

There is sometimes a disconnect between what lecturers and international students are thinking. Here are some key pointers to help resolve this. 

  • Resource collection: English as a second language in higher education
  • How to create effective listening environments for neurodiverse, international and deaf students
  • Managing cognitive load for EAL – and all – students

1. Don’t make assumptions about English level

Do not presume to know what a student’s level of English is. They may seem much weaker than they are, or much stronger. Language learners have strengths in different skills and usually benefit from encouragement. If you know their language exam score, remember that this is an overall score; they will have strengths and weaknesses. To get a feel for their level, engage directly with the student; be patient and encouraging; use general topics as routes into conversation and build confidence. 

2. Realise that this is a work in progress

Remember that any English language university entrance exam is a little like a driving test. You only really learn to drive after passing the test through practice on the roads. In the same way, students need to practise their language skills proactively. Students who pass have met their institution’s requirements and are therefore entitled to be there and should feel that. 

3. Don’t conflate silence with lack of interest or ability 

Confidence and language ability may be a factor if students seem reticent. Engage on a one-to-one basis with students when you can to check how they are getting on. International students want to be here and to do well.

4. Don’t underestimate the power of pair work

Regularly use it or small group discussion to give students the chance to rehearse their comments or questions. Foster a culture of peer-to-peer discussion with pairs, trios and small groups before opening up to larger group discussions. It’s important to mix the pairs up too. Don’t always let the same students work together.   

5. Nominate students to contribute to discussions

As some students may lack the confidence to jump in or struggle to find a space when others dominate, actively nominate them, especially after pair work. Make sure you have established this approach from the start.

6. Allow for silence/pauses

Students may be forming a response in their heads so it’s important to be patient and allow enough time.

7. Discourage excessive reliance on translation software

Promote active listening and participation by using eye contact, pair work and providing space for thinking in discussion and group settings. 

8. Value and highlight intercultural perspectives 

Take advantage of international students’ social, cultural and linguistic backgrounds to bring other perspectives into discussions. Think about what the views, impacts and situations might contribute to the conversations. 

9. Encourage independent reflection

Tell your students to go away and think then write reflectively about their learning and engagement in a journal. This can lead to better articulation of ideas and deeper thinking. 

10. Be sensitive to intercultural perspectives

In some cultures, the teacher-student relationship is very structured, so think about how you can encourage students to feel relaxed about talking to you or talking in front of you. Sharing your own experience of university study and the interactions you had with your tutors can help students relate to you and see you in a different light. Encourage students to address you by your first name, if they are happy to, and to come to you during your office hours. 

11. Think about tone 

Respond to students’ emails or queries in a timely fashion. Think about how you come across in your communications. If students use an inappropriate tone, seek ways to address that. For example, you can bring it up in a tutorial, or you can give general guidance on expectations and the dos and don’ts of student-teacher communication.  

Much of this advice lends itself to teaching contexts, but it is also relevant to professional services and support staff and will ensure international students have a positive experience on campus. Moving to another country, studying in another language and investing lots of time, money and effort is a huge undertaking, so we must all work to foster a compassionate and encouraging experience for our international student community. 

Peter O’Rourke is a researcher development manager at the University of Exeter.

If you would like advice and insight from academics and university staff delivered direct to your inbox each week, sign up for the Campus newsletter .  

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Pragmatics in English Language Learning

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Peter Grundy, Pragmatics in English Language Learning, ELT Journal , Volume 77, Issue 4, October 2023, Pages 522–526, https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccad032

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that an intelligent reader in possession of an edited collection of papers must have a real treasure chest in hand. However little known the feelings or views of such a reader may be on their first turning the pages of such a volume, this truth is so well fixed in the mind of the writer of the foreword that the reader’s approbation is considered as the rightful property of some or all of the contributors.

Despite the foregoing and despite its title, there’s probably more that’s directly useful in Pragmatics in English Language Learning to researchers in applied pragmatics than to English language teachers, teacher trainers and materials writers. Nevertheless, the contributions in this collection raise many important issues about the relationship of pragmatics and L2 learning and teaching, so pieces of eight for all of us.

The book opens with a brief introduction (well, there’s a foreword that I’ll come back to later) in which the editors define pragmatic competence as ‘making socially appropriate linguistic choices’ (p. 1) and closes with a brief conclusion in which they call for ‘more systematic approaches to pragmatics instruction’ (p. 229). In the first chapter, Naoko Taguchi charts the development of L2 pragmatics from its beginning in the 1980s to the present day. This is followed by four chapters that study the longitudinal development of pragmalinguistic knowledge in educational contexts, grouped together under the title ‘Pragmatics in Action’, and three further chapters under the title ‘Instructed L2 Pragmatics’, which investigate classroom learning in experimental situations.

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American College Student: Learning a Second Language Essay

The question, whether American college students should be required to learn a second language, has remained a matter of debate in academic circles. I feel that there is no necessity for American college students to learn another language. Several reasons exist to substantiate my belief. First of all, English is a global language, spoken in several countries around the world. It is also the lingua Franca, or common language, that is universally accepted. The second reason is that students who study in college are usually in the age group of 17 – 22 years. This is not the ideal age for learning languages. The last reason comes in terms of the fact that learning a second language requires a lot of time and efforts. In brief, for these reasons, I do not agree that American colleges should envisage a second language for their students.

English language is spoken in a large number of countries around the world, which means American people can speak their native language in those parts. Therefore, American college students have no necessity to learn a language other than English. Indeed English language is the most important language in the world because we can use it for communicating with a larger number of people across the universe. For example I have a lot of international friends and we communicate in English language alone. Besides, English is the lingua franca, or the common language, that is universally accepted by both academic as well as corporate entities in most parts of the world. Therefore, in the case of Americans who are native speakers of English, learning a second language is a redundant exercise.

Usually a person reaches college level at the age of 16 or 17. This is too old a time to learn a language. At this stage many of the children will be involved in many other activities and these deprive them of sufficient spare time. In fact, later teens are the time for youth to develop their physical and emotional stability than to learn languages. Thus it is obvious that the best time to learn another language is as a child when the accent and other mechanics can be learned as good as native language itself. In addition, children learn a second language faster than young adults.

Finally, learning a second language and attending to assignments on the same involves a lot of time and effort on the part of students. College students usually have vast syllabus which incorporates their subject areas like science, commerce, management, accounting, other humanities etc. Having to learn an alien language at this stage will put a heavy burden on them. Besides, college students are expected to focus on their core subjects and, therefore, the efforts to learn a new language during the college years will rather become a distraction than an advantage to them.

Thus, from an evaluation of the pros and cons of the issue, it transpires that American college students need not learn a second language. They already have learned a language which is used in most parts of the world, to communicate. Further, languages must be learned at a younger age to be effectively imbibed, and college years are too late a time for this. Finally, learning a language at college level, when students have a lot to study with a focus on their core subjects, language learning will only act as an impediment than compliment to their education. Therefore, it is better to avoid a second language requirement for college students. However, if the educationalists feel that it is an absolute requirement, it may be implemented at primary stage.

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Challenges and opportunities of English as the medium of instruction in diploma midwifery programs in Bangladesh: a mixed-methods study

  • Anna Williams 1 ,
  • Jennifer R. Stevens 2 ,
  • Rondi Anderson 3 &
  • Malin Bogren 4  

BMC Medical Education volume  24 , Article number:  523 ( 2024 ) Cite this article

Metrics details

English is generally recognized as the international language of science and most research on evidence-based medicine is produced in English. While Bangla is the dominant language in Bangladesh, public midwifery degree programs use English as the medium of instruction (EMI). This enables faculty and student access to the latest evidence-based midwifery content, which is essential for provision of quality care later. Yet, it also poses a barrier, as limited English mastery among students and faculty limits both teaching and learning.

This mixed-methods study investigates the challenges and opportunities associated with the implementation of EMI in the context of diploma midwifery education in Bangladesh. Surveys were sent to principals at 38 public midwifery education institutions, and 14 English instructors at those schools. Additionally, ten key informant interviews were held with select knowledgeable stakeholders with key themes identified.

Surveys found that English instructors are primarily guest lecturers, trained in general or business English, without a standardized curriculum or functional English language laboratories. Three themes were identified in the key informant interviews. First, in addition to students’ challenges with English, faculty mastery of English presented challenges as well. Second, language labs were poorly maintained, often non-functional, and lacked faculty. Third, an alternative education model, such as the English for Specific Purposes (ESP) curriculum,  has potential to strengthen English competencies within midwifery schools.

Conclusions

ESP, which teaches English for application in a specific discipline, is one option available in Bangladesh for midwifery education. Native language instruction and the middle ground of multilingualism are also useful options. Although a major undertaking, investing in an ESP model and translation of technical midwifery content into relevant mother tongues may provide faster and more complete learning. In addition, a tiered system of requirements for English competencies tied to higher levels of midwifery education could build bridges to students to help them access global evidence-based care resources. Higher levels might emphasize English more heavily, while the diploma level would follow a multilingualism approach, teach using an ESP curriculum, and have complementary emphasis on the mother tongue.

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Introduction

As the international language of science, English holds an important position in the education of healthcare professionals. Globally, most scientific papers are published in English. In many non-native English-speaking countries, English is used as the language of instruction in higher education [ 1 ]. The dominant status held by the English language in the sciences is largely considered to increase global access to scientific information by unifying the scientific community under a single lingua franca [ 2 ].

In Bangladesh, where the mother tongue is Bangla and midwifery diploma programs are taught in English, knowledge of English facilitates student and instructor access to global, continuously updated evidence-based practice guidance. This includes basic and scientific texts, media-based instructional materials (including on life-saving skills), professional journals, and proceedings of medical conferences. Many of these resources are available for free online, which can be particularly useful in healthcare settings that have not integrated evidence-based practice.

In addition to opportunity though, English instruction also creates several challenges. Weak student and faculty English competency may impede midwifery education quality in Bangladesh. Globally, literature has linked limited instructor competency in the language of instruction with reduced depth, nuance, and accuracy in conveying subject matter content [ 3 ]. This can lead to the perpetuation of patterns of care in misalignment with global evidence. In addition, students’ native language proficiency in their topic of study can decline when instruction is in English, limiting native language communication between colleagues on the job later on [ 4 , 5 ].

In this paper, we examine the current status of English language instruction within public diploma midwifery programs in Bangladesh. Midwifery students are not required to demonstrate a certain skill level in English to enter the program. However, they are provided with English classes in the program. Midwifery course materials are in English, while—for ease and practicality—teaching aids and verbal classroom instruction are provided in Bangla. Following graduation, midwifery students must pass a national licensing exam given in English to practice. Upon passing, some new midwives are deployed as public employees and are posted to sub-district health facilities where English is not used by either providers or clients. Others will seek employment as part of non-governmental organization (NGO) projects where English competency can be of value for interacting with global communities, and for participating in NGO-specific on-the-job learning opportunities. The mix of both challenge and opportunity in this context is complex.

Our analysis examines the reasons for the identified English competency gaps within midwifery programs, and potential solutions. We synthesize the findings and discuss solutions in the context of the global literature. Finally, we present a set of viable options for strengthening English competencies among midwifery faculty and students to enable better quality teaching and greater learning comprehension among students.

Study design

We employed a mixed-methods study design [ 6 ] in order to assess the quality of English instruction within education programs, and options for its improvement. Data collection consisted of two surveys of education institutes, a web-search of available English programs in Bangladesh, and key informant interviews. Both surveys followed a structured questionnaire with a combination of open- and closed-ended questions and were designed by the authors. One survey targeted the 38 institute principals and the other targeted 14 of the institutes’ 38 English instructors (those for whom contact information was shared). The web-search focused on generating a list of available English programs in Bangladesh that had viable models that could be tapped into to strengthen English competencies among midwifery faculty and students. Key informant interviews were unstructured and intended to substantiate and deepen understanding of the survey and web-search findings.

No minimum requirements exist for students’ English competencies upon entry into midwifery diploma programs. Students enter directly from higher secondary school (12th standard) and complete the midwifery program over a period of three years. Most students come from modest economic backgrounds having completed their primary and secondary education in Bangla. While English instruction is part of students’ secondary education, skill attainment is low, and assessment standards are not in place to ensure student mastery. To join the program, midwifery students are required to pass a multi-subject entrance exam that includes a component on English competency. However, as no minimum English standard must be met, the exam does not screen out potential midwifery students. Scoring, for instance, is not broken down by subject. This makes it possible to answer zero questions correctly in up to three of the subjects, including English, and pass the exam.

Processes/data collection

Prior to the first survey, principals were contacted by UNFPA with information about the survey and all provided verbal consent to participate. The survey of principals collected general information about the resources available for English instruction at the institutes. It was a nine-item questionnaire with a mix of Yes/No, multiple choice and write-in questions. Specific measures of interest were whether and how many English instructors the institutes had, instructors’ hiring criteria, whether institutes had language labs and if they were in use, and principals’ views on the need for English courses and their ideal mode of delivery (e.g., in-person, online, or a combination). This survey also gathered contact information of institute English instructors. These measures were chosen as they were intended to provide a high-level picture of institutes’ English resources such as faculty availability and qualifications, and use of language labs. To ensure questions were appropriately framed, a pilot test was conducted with two institute principals and small adjustments were subsequently made. Responses were shared via an electronic form sent by email and were used to inform the second survey as well as the key informant interviews. Of the 38 principals, 36 completed the survey.

The second survey, targeting English instructors, gathered information on instructors’ type of employment (e.g., institute faculty or adjunct lecturers); length of employment; student academic focus (e.g., midwifery or nursing); hours of English instruction provided as part of the midwifery diploma program; whether a standard English curriculum was used and if it was tailored toward the healthcare profession; use of digital content in teaching; education and experience in English teaching; and their views on student barriers to learning English. These measures were chosen to provide a basic criterion for assessing quality of English instruction, materials and resources available to students. For instance, instructors’ status as faculty would indicate a stronger degree of integration and belonging to the institute midwifery program than a guest lecturer status which allows for part time instruction with little job security. In addition, use of a standard, professionally developed English curriculum and integration of digital content into classroom learning would be indicative of higher quality than learning materials developed informally by instructors themselves without use of listening content by native speakers in classrooms. The survey was piloted with two English instructors. Based on their feedback, minor adjustments were made to one question, and it was determined that responses were best gathered by phone due to instructors’ limited internet access. Of the 14 instructors contacted, 11 were reached and provided survey responses by phone.

The web-search gathered information on available English language instruction programs for adults in Bangladesh, and the viability of tapping into any of them to improve English competency among midwifery students and faculty. Keywords Bangladesh  +  English courses , English training , English classes , study English and learn English were typed into Google’s search platform. Eleven English language instruction programs were identified. Following this, each program was contacted either by phone or email and further detail about the program’s offerings was collected.

Unstructured key informant interviews were carried out with select knowledgeable individuals to substantiate and enhance the credibility of the survey and web-search findings. Three in-country expert English language instructors and four managers of English language teaching programs were interviewed. In addition, interviews were held with three national-level stakeholders knowledgeable about work to make functional technologically advanced English language laboratories that had been installed at many of the training institutes. Question prompts included queries such as, ‘In your experience, what are the major barriers to Bangla-medium educated students studying in English at the university level?’, ‘What effective methods or curricula are you aware of for improving student English to an appropriate competency level for successful learning in English?’, and, ‘What options do you see for the language lab/s being used, either in their originally intended capacity or otherwise?’

Data analysis

All data were analyzed by the lead researcher. Survey data were entered into a master Excel file and grouped descriptively to highlight trends and outliers, and ultimately enable a clear description of the structure and basic quality attributes (e.g., instructors’ education, hours of English instruction, and curriculum development resources used). Web-search findings were compiled in a second Excel file with columns distinguishing whether they taught general English (often aimed at preparing students for international standard exams), Business English, or English for Specific Purposes (ESP). This enabled separation of standalone English courses taught by individual instructors as part of vocational or academic programs of study in other fields, and programs with an exclusive focus on English language acquisition. Key informant interviews were summarized in a standard notes format using Word. An inductive process of content analysis was carried out, in which content categories were identified and structured to create coherent meaning [ 7 ]. From this, the key overall findings and larger themes that grew from the initial survey and web-search results were drawn out.

The surveys (Tables  1 and 2 ) found that English instructors are primarily long-term male guest lecturers employed at each institute for more than two years. All principal respondents indicated that there is a need for English instruction—18 of the 19 reported that this is best done through a combination of in-person and computer-based instruction. Ten institutes reported that they have an English language lab, but none were used as such. The other institutes did not have language labs. The reported reasons for the labs not being in use were a lack of trained staff to operate them and some components of the technology not being installed or working properly. The findings from the instructors’ survey indicated that English instructors typically develop their own learning materials and teach general English without tailoring content to healthcare contexts. Only two mentioned using a standard textbook to guide their instruction and one described consulting a range of English textbooks to develop learning content. None reported using online or other digital tools for language instruction in their classrooms. Most instructors had an advanced degree (i.e., master’s degree) in English, and seven had received training in teaching English. Interviews with instructors also revealed that they themselves did not have mastery of English, as communication barriers in speaking over the phone appeared consistently across 10 of the 11 instructor respondents.

The web-search and related follow up interviews found that most English instruction programs (10 out of the 11) were designed for teaching general English and/or business English. The majority were offered through private entities aiming to reach individuals intending to study abroad, access employment that required English, or improve their ability to navigate business endeavors in English. One program, developed by the British Council, had flexibility to tailor its structure and some of its content to the needs of midwifery students. However, this was limited in that a significant portion of the content that would be used was developed for global audiences and thus not tailored to a Bangladeshi audience or to any specific discipline. One of the university English programs offered a promising ESP model tailored to midwifery students. It was designed by BRAC University’s Institute of Language for the university’s private midwifery training program.

Three themes emerged from the other key informant interviews (Table  3 ). The first was that, in addition to students’ challenges with English, faculty mastery of English presented challenges as well. Of the 34 faculty members intending to participate in the 2019–2020 cohort for the Dalarna master’s degree, half did not pass the prerequisite English exam. Ultimately, simultaneous English-Bangla translation was necessary for close to half of the faculty to enable their participation in the master’s program. English language limitations also precluded one faculty member from participating in an international PhD program in midwifery.

The second theme highlighted the language labs’ lack of usability. The language labs consisted of computers, an interactive whiteboard, audio-visual equipment, and associated software to allow for individualized direct interactions between teacher and student. However, due to the lack of appropriately trained staff to manage, care for and use the language lab equipment, the investment required to make the labs functional appeared to outweigh the learning advantages doing so would provide. Interviews revealed that work was being done, supported by a donor agency, on just one language lab, to explore whether it could be made functional. The work was described as costly and challenging, and required purchasing a software license from abroad, thus likely being impractical to apply to the other labs and sustain over multiple years.

The third theme was around the ESP curriculum model. The program developers had employed evidence-informed thinking to develop the ESP learning content and consulted student midwives on their learning preferences. Due to the student input, at least 80% of the content was designed to directly relate to the practice of midwifery in Bangladesh, while the remaining 10–20% references globally relevant content. This balance was struck based on students’ expressed interest in having some exposure to English usage outside of Bangladesh for their personal interest. For conversation practice, the modules integrated realistic scenarios of midwives interacting with doctors, nurses and patients. Also built into written activities were exercises where students were prompted to describe relevant health topics they are concurrently studying in their health, science or clinical classes. Given the midwifery students’ educational backgrounds and intended placements in rural parts of Bangladesh, an ESP curriculum model appeared to be the most beneficial existing program to pursue tapping into to strengthen English competencies within midwifery programs. This was because the content would likely be more accessible to students than a general English course by having vocabulary, activities and examples directly relevant to the midwifery profession.

The study findings demonstrate key weaknesses in the current model of English instruction taught in public midwifery programs. Notably, the quantitative findings revealed that some English instructors do not have training in teaching English, and none used standard curricula or online resources to structure and enhance their classroom content. In addition, weak mastery of English among midwifery faculty was identified in the qualitative data, which calls into question faculty’s ability to fully understand and accurately convey content from English learning materials. Global literature indicates that this is not a unique situation. Many healthcare faculty and students in low-resource settings, in fact, are faced with delivering and acquiring knowledge in a language they have not sufficiently mastered [ 8 ]. As a significant barrier to knowledge and skill acquisition for evidence-based care, this requires more attention from global midwifery educators [ 9 ].

Also holding back students’ English development is the finding from both the quantitative and qualitative data that none of the high-tech language labs were being used as intended. This indicates a misalignment with the investment against the reality of the resources at the institutes to use them. While setting up the costly language labs appears to have been a large investment with little to no return, it does demonstrate that strengthening English language instruction in post-secondary public education settings is a priority that the Bangladesh government is willing to invest in. However, scaling up access to an ESP curriculum model tailored to future midwifery practitioners in Bangladesh may be a more worthwhile investment than language labs [ 10 ]. 

The ESP approach teaches English for application in a specific discipline. It does this by using vocabulary, examples, demonstrations, scenarios and practice activities that are directly related to the context and professions those studying English live and work (or are preparing to work) in. One way ESP has been described, attributed to Hutchinson and Waters (1987), is, “ESP should properly be seen not as any particular language product but as an approach to language teaching in which all decisions as to content and method are based on the learner’s reason for learning” [ 11 ]. It is proposed by linguistic education researchers as a viable model for strengthening language mastery and subject matter comprehension in EMI university contexts [ 12 ].

Though it did not arise as a finding, reviewing the literature highlighted that Bangla language instruction may be an additional, potentially viable option. Linguistic research has long shown that students learn more thoroughly and efficiently in their mother tongue [ 12 ]. Another perhaps more desirable option may be multilingualism, which entails recognizing native languages as complementary in EMI classrooms, and using them through verbal instruction and supplemental course materials. Kirkpatrick, a leading scholar of EMI in Asia, suggests that multilingualism be formally integrated into EMI university settings [ 13 ]. This approach is supported by evidence showing that the amount of native language support students need for optimal learning is inversely proportional to their degree of English proficiency [ 14 ].

Ultimately, despite the language related learning limitations identified in this study, and the opportunities presented by native language and multilingualism approaches, there remains a fundamental need for members of the midwifery profession in Bangladesh to use up-to-date guidance on evidence-based midwifery care [ 11 ]. Doing that currently requires English language competence. Perhaps a tiered system of requirements for English competencies that are tied to diploma, Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD midwifery programs could build bridges for more advanced students to access global resources. Higher academic levels might emphasize English more heavily, while the diploma level could follow a multilingualism approach—teaching using an ESP curriculum and integrating Bangla strategically to support optimal knowledge acquisition for future practice in rural facilities. Ideally, scores on a standard English competency exam would be used to assess students’ language competencies prior to entrance in English-based programs and that this would require more stringent English skill development prior to entering a midwifery program.

Methodological considerations

One of the limitations of this study is that it relied on self-reports and observation, rather than tested language and subject matter competencies. Its strengths though are in the relatively large number of education institutes that participated in the study, and the breadth of knowledge about faculty and student subject matter expertise among study co-authors. It was recognized that the lead researcher might be biased toward pre-determined perceptions of English competencies being a barrier to teaching and learning held by the lead institution (UNFPA). It was also recognized that due to the inherent power imbalance between researcher and participants, the manner of gathering data and engaging with stakeholders may contribute to confirmation bias, with respondents primarily sharing what they anticipated the researcher wished to hear (e.g., that English needed strengthening and the lead agency should take action to support the strengthening). The researcher thus engaged with participants independently of UNFPA and employed reflexivity by designing and carrying out the surveys to remotely collect standard data from institutes, as well as casting a wide net across institutes to increase broad representation. In addition, while institutes were informed that the surveys were gathering information about the English instruction within the institutes, no information was shared about potential new support to institutes. Finally, the researcher validated and gathered further details on the relevant information identified in the surveys through key informant interviews, which were held with stakeholders independent of UNFPA.

Adapting and scaling up the existing ESP modules found in this study, and integrating Bangla where it can enhance subject-matter learning, may be a useful way to help midwifery students and faculty improve their knowledge, skills, and critical thinking related to the field of midwifery. Given the educational backgrounds and likely work locations of most midwives in Bangladesh and many other LMICs, practitioners may want to consider investing in more opportunities for local midwives to teach and learn in their mother tongue. This type of investment would ideally be paired with a tiered system in which more advanced English competencies are required at higher-levels of education to ensure integration of global, evidence-based approaches into local standards of care.

Declarations.

Data availability

The datasets used and analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Abbreviations

Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee

English medium instruction

English for Specific Purposes

Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

United Nations Population Fund

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Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge Farida Begum, Rabeya Basri, and Pronita Raha for their contributions to data collection for this assessment.

This project under which this study was carried out was funded by funded by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office.

Open access funding provided by University of Gothenburg.

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Anna Williams

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Jennifer R. Stevens

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Authors contributions in the development of this paper were as follows: AW- Concept, acquisition, drafting, revision, analysis, interpretation. JRS- Concept, revision. RA- Concept, analysis MB- Revision, analysis, interpretationAll authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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This study was part of a larger project in Bangladesh approved by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) with project ID UZJ31. The MOHFW project approval allows data collection of this type, that is carried out as part of routine program monitoring and improvement, including informed verbal consent for surveys and key informant interviews.

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Williams, A., Stevens, J., Anderson, R. et al. Challenges and opportunities of English as the medium of instruction in diploma midwifery programs in Bangladesh: a mixed-methods study. BMC Med Educ 24 , 523 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-024-05499-8

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    Learning a Second Language Essay. Exclusively available on IvyPanda. Language is one of the most important tools in our interaction with others. Without language, it is highly unlikely that the human civilization would have developed as it has over the millenniums. For most people, being able to communicate in one language is sufficient.

  2. My Experience In Learning English As A Second Language

    Indeed, learning a language takes a lifetime. I started learning English as a second language when I was in first intermediate. I still remember my first classes and my first teachers. I remember that my teachers changed frequently in the first year but all of them have much in common. All of them used grammar translation method.

  3. Issues in Learning English as a Second Language Essay

    Conclusion. In summary, the given English as Second Language essay showed that although the English language is hard to learn, it is worthwhile learning it as a Second language and even more beneficial as a bilingual. Firstly, the English language is most likely to stand the severe history test and survive as a language, as too many people ...

  4. Importance Of English Language Essay

    Answer 2: Yes, it does. It is because English is the official language of 53 countries and we use it as a lingua franca (a mutually known language) by people from all over the world. This means that studying English can help us have a conversation with people on a global level. Share with friends.

  5. English as a Second Language (ESL) Learning: Setting the Right

    Reading helps students apply English in their daily interactions. Reading might be very beneficial for learning, according to Hashim et al. (2018).Based on the interview excerpts with the pupils ...

  6. The Cambridge Guide to Learning English as a Second Language

    The Cambridge Guide to Learning English as a Second Language contains nine sections, which aim to organise and reflect different dimensions of the diverse and complex scope of learning English as a second or additional language. Four themes which permeate the chapters are: learning and learners; learning and language; learning and language ...

  7. Learning English as a Second Language: Why and How?

    English is the language of culture, so learning it can help you better understand films, books, and music from around the world. Other than that, learning English can also help improve your communication skills, build your confidence, and make you more independent. So, as you can see, learning English as a second language can be a truly ...

  8. 8 Tips to Write Better Essays in English

    We bring you eight useful tips to write better essays in English. 1. Keep a Vocabulary Notebook. Using the right vocabulary is an essential element of writing essays. When you make efforts to expand your vocabulary, you will be able to pick accurate words to take your writing to the next level. Instead of coming across new words and forgetting ...

  9. The Benefits of Knowing a Second Language Essay

    The main advantages of knowing a second language are your professional growth, improvement of mental health, and development of cognitive abilities. We will write a custom essay on your topic. The first argument in favor of learning a second language is the fact that the development of cognitive abilities in the learning process helps maintain ...

  10. English as a Second Language Essay Examples

    Browse essays about English as a Second Language and find inspiration. Learn by example and become a better writer with Kibin's suite of essay help services. Essay Examples

  11. Learning English as a Second Language Essay

    Learning English as a Second Language Essay. Good Essays. 1036 Words. 5 Pages. Open Document. English is an international language which is used officially all around the world. Anybody who wants to make connections with the world we live in should learn English. I had English language classes in my secondary and high school years.

  12. These are the benefits of learning a second language

    Two languages that are growing in popularity in the UK are Spanish and Chinese, the BBC found. Chinese, of course, is the most widely spoken language in the world. However, in the online sphere it's a close second to English. Online, English is used by 25.4% of people. For Chinese, it's 19.3%.

  13. Example Of Learning English As A Second Language Essay

    In non-English speaking countries, English is taught as a second language through courses that may be taken in tertiary institutions of education (Esack, 2004). The objective of this essay is to find out how students are able to learn English as a second language and the methods that are employed in teaching English as a second language.

  14. English as a Second Language (ESL) Learning: Setting the Right

    Early exposure to English is very important as it is crucial for learners to acquire English language at early age as English is a global language that is used not only in the level of primary and secondary school but also in tertiary level of education. Schools can be one of the important roles in influencing second language acquisition, particularly English language. However, most schools ...

  15. How English as a Second Language Affects Learning

    Almost one in 10 U.S. students in grades K-12 — about 5 million children total — are pulling double duty in school, learning English as a second language while absorbing math, science, social ...

  16. My Experience of Learning a New Language

    The essay on "My Experience of Learning a New Language" is a well-written piece that effectively communicates the author's personal experience of learning a new language. The organization of the essay is logical, with a clear introduction that sets the context and a conclusion that provides a reflection on the experience.

  17. Importance Of Learning English As A Second Language Essay

    Abstract: This paper reports on research carried out some information that shows the necessity for learning English as a second language in early age. Learning English language, is very essential and important. Everyone will face many satiations in life where will show the needs for using a different languages to communicate with other people.

  18. ESL004: Advanced English as a Second Language

    English as a Second Language. ESL004: Advanced English as a Second Language. Learn new skills or earn credit towards a degree at your own pace with no deadlines, using free courses from Saylor Academy. Join the 1,839,519 students that started their journey with us. We're committed to removing barriers to education and helping you build ...

  19. Second Language Learners' Performance and Strategies When Writing

    Abstract and Figures. The purpose of this study was to investigate ESL students' performance and strategies when writing direct and translated essays. The study also aimed at exploring students ...

  20. Argumentative Essay: Reasons You Should Learn English

    Lastly a great benefit to learning English is that it increases cultural understanding, not only of native English-speaking cultures, but of any other country whose second language is English. The film and music industries are largely English-driven. The art, traditions and culture of any country, especially those of native English-speaking ...

  21. Learning English As A Second Language Essays

    Learning or acquisition of any language as a second one remains a challenge to anyone particularly if the countries of origin barely use it in their regular life (Boscov, 2012). This was my case was when I started learning English as my second language. I faced many obstacles to gain good command of English but I am happy I made it even though ...

  22. What Are the Benefits of Learning a Second Language?

    Preply 1-on-1 With 1-on-1 tutoring on Preply, you can choose from thousands of verified and qualified tutors across English, Spanish, and many other languages and subjects. In English alone, tutors specialize in a range of disciplines from teaching kids to business English. Choosing 1-on-1 lessons has many benefits, such as developing a custom learning plan that matches your specific requirements.

  23. 11 ways to support international students who use English as a second

    Resource collection: English as a second language in higher education; How to create effective listening environments for neurodiverse, international and deaf students; Managing cognitive load for EAL - and all - students; 1. Don't make assumptions about English level. Do not presume to know what a student's level of English is.

  24. Pragmatics in English Language Learning

    Pragmatics in English Language Learning. It is a truth universally acknowledged that an intelligent reader in possession of an edited collection of papers must have a real treasure chest in hand. However little known the feelings or views of such a reader may be on their first turning the pages of such a volume, this truth is so well fixed in ...

  25. Welcome to the Purdue Online Writing Lab

    Mission. The Purdue On-Campus Writing Lab and Purdue Online Writing Lab assist clients in their development as writers—no matter what their skill level—with on-campus consultations, online participation, and community engagement. The Purdue Writing Lab serves the Purdue, West Lafayette, campus and coordinates with local literacy initiatives.

  26. American College Student: Learning a Second Language Essay

    It is also the lingua Franca, or common language, that is universally accepted. The second reason is that students who study in college are usually in the age group of 17 - 22 years. This is not the ideal age for learning languages. The last reason comes in terms of the fact that learning a second language requires a lot of time and efforts.

  27. English as a Second Language (ESL)

    Coordinator, Skills Training. [email protected]. (281) 478-2786. Summer and Fall registration is open! Register Today. Make San Jac. Your Launchpad to success. We offer several English as a Second Language (ESL) programs to meet your needs. Explore which one is right for you.

  28. Challenges and opportunities of English as the medium of instruction in

    English is generally recognized as the international language of science and most research on evidence-based medicine is produced in English. While Bangla is the dominant language in Bangladesh, public midwifery degree programs use English as the medium of instruction (EMI). This enables faculty and student access to the latest evidence-based midwifery content, which is essential for provision ...