English as a Second Language (ESL), sometimes called English as a Foreign Language (EFL), is an English language study program for individuals who do not speak English as their first language and want to improve their English language skills. The goal of ESL programs is to help students improve their level of English. Different classes teach different language skills depending on the needs and skills of the students, but all courses teach conversational English, grammar, reading, listening comprehension, writing, and vocabulary.
Many students in ESL programs are preparing to study in the US, and often choose an ESL program that teaches academic English. Others study ESL for travel or social purposes, and will find that general English classes help improve their conversational English and allow them to learn skills that are necessary for navigating different social situations. For students who are interested in entering the business world, business English classes are also an option and will focus on the vocabulary and communication skills that are necessary within the business world.
Why Study ESL?
English is one of the most commonly spoken languages around the world, in fact, when people who speak different languages come together they often speak English. English is spoken throughout much of the world due to Great Britain’s expansion during the colonial age. English is also the language of science- if you want to excel in a scientific field, you’ll need to learn English.
There are many benefits to studying ESL including:
- Prepares you to study at a college or university
- Helps you improve your scores on any English language exam you may need to take, such as the TOEFL
- Teaches you about the culture and customs of your host country
- Helps you meet new people, many of whom are also studying ESL
- Potentially provide you with access to accommodations and social activities
Where to Study ESL
Do you want to learn English? We have an online searchable database of ESL programs from all around the world so you can easily find a great program. Organized by state for the USA and then country for the rest of the world, we have all the information you will need to find the right ESL school for you.
Featured Language Schools
If you would like a few ESL program suggestions, here are three featured options we recommend you explore:
- ELS - with over 45 years of experience, ELS has helped one million students learn English at more than 50 locations across the US. ELS's programs are designed for students who wish to attend a college or university in the US, need Business English to advance their career, or simply want to improve their English and explore the US.
- Arizona State University Global Launch - ASU Global Launch is the largest intensive English program in the US. It is designed specifically for international students who want to study in the US. ASU Global Launch offers four and eight-week sessions, at the end of which students are conditionally admitted to studying at ASU.
- Felician University - the American Culture and English Studies (ACES) Program Offers year round intensive English instruction and cultural immersion to students around the world. This program gives students the chance to improve their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in the classroom as well as through hands on cultural activities including trips to New York City and Philadelphia.
Search in your Language
The main Learn English/ ESL School and Program search is in English, however we also offer the search in your own language and they include: