The decision to learn English might come as a result of a job requirement, promotion, or it was a long-thought plan. Regardless of which factor pushed you to start learning this language, the important thing is that you took the first step. Now, to convince you to keep learning English, we’re going to be giving you some benefits that learning English as a second language (ESL) has.
1. Gives the Ability to Communicate in a New Language
When you enroll in an ESL program, you enroll with a goal in your mind.
That is to learn the English language as your second, third, or fourth language. This is the main benefit of an ESL program.
You add one other language to the list of the languages you’re proficient in and learn to use that language to communicate with the native speakers.
Additionally, you create connections with them as well as other people of other ethnicities that speak English.
2. ESL Classes Create Student Diversity
Diversity—this buzzword that sort of “characterizes” the 21st century is best applied in ESL classes.
People of different backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, and ages get together to learn the language they need to live and function in a new environment.
People from all walks of life might decide at a certain point in their lives to dedicate themselves to learning English for many different reasons.
It’s this variety of people that make language learning more exciting, fun, and satisfying.
3. Turns Students Into Global Citizens
As we already know, the English language is a lingua franca. As such, learning this language automatically makes you a global citizen.
What does this mean, you might ask?
Well, for one everywhere you travel in the world or study abroad, you’ll feel like you’re a citizen of that country as you won’t have any problem navigating around it as well as communicating with local people.
Also, being a global citizen will make you more aware of your surroundings and your responsibilities as a part of the community.
4. Expose Students to New Cultures
While you can get a grasp of the culture of a country by traveling there, it’s a whole other deal to immerse yourself in it for quite some time.
When being introduced to a language other than your own, you catch yourself grabbing hints of what the culture is like. You keep looking for similarities and differences between your own culture and the new one.
The deeper you go into English, the more you’ll understand the culture of the country where this language is spoken.
5. Increases Mental Flexibility
Learning English as a second language can improve your thinking skills. Bilingual people tend to concentrate better, ignore distractions more effectively, and switch attention willfully from one thing to another more than monolinguals.
ESL will be a sort of exercise for the brain, making it stronger and more flexible.
6. Helps Immigrants Accommodate in the New Country
It’s probably not easy to move to a new country and continue your life where you left of.
Actually, even if one wanted to the transition won’t be that smooth as there are many factors that can hinder that.
One of the factors happens to be the language. Enrolling in an ESL program can help them fit in faster by joining the community there as well as find better job opportunities which otherwise wouldn’t be possible.
7. Increases Job Prospects
Seeing how the world has turned into a ‘’global village’’ with the English language as the medium of communication, it’s impossible for it not to increase job opportunities.
Actually, now English has turned into one of the most common job requirements.
The English language being included in your resume will certainly increase your chances of landing a job. It will also give you an edge compared to other applicants.
This doesn’t apply only to ESL teachers (who obviously are quite much in demand) but also to almost every job possible.
8. Better Comprehension of Your First Language
When you learn a language instinctively, it’s understandable that you won’t really know the abstract rules that stay behind language use.
However, this changes once you start learning another language.
Learning a new language means you start learning from scratch every grammar rule, lexis, and sentence structure. The deeper you go on the morphology and syntax of the English language, the more you’ll understand your native language.
You’ll learn to put names to the concepts you couldn’t really explain prior to learning English.
9. Prevents Brain Deterioration
One thing that is worth mentioning is how beneficial ESL can be in slowing down cognitive decline.
Many people worldwide suffer from cognitive illnesses. It’s reported that learning a second language—which could be English—can decrease your chances of developing any cognitive impairment.
Studies have shown that the individuals who are proficient in more than one language might experience a cognitive impairment 4 years and a half later than those who speak only one language might.
10. Improves the Memory
You might have heard about the comparison done between the brain and the muscles.
As we know, the muscles get bigger and stronger, the more you exercise. It’s the same situation with the brain.
The more you challenge it, the more it expands, and the better its performance will be. Learning English will be just like an exercise for the brain.
You’ll need to remember and recall from time to time many different grammatical structures and vocabulary in this language.
This process will only have benefits. If you repeat it often, you’ll strengthen your memory muscle of the brain. That’s why bilinguals are way better at retaining information than monolinguals.
There you go folks, here are the many benefits of the ESL. They’re quite many in number.
As you can see, ESL impacts many different aspects of our life—from our lifestyle to our cognitive abilities.
With that being said, we now are pretty sure we got you convinced to stay on the path that you started and experience first-hand all these ESL benefits.
Diana Bajraktari is a writing enthusiast and loves to write about topics that tackle educational issues. As a former student herself, she spends most of her time writing about student experiences and personal development. Currently, she’s writing for the department of ESL Chicago of the University of the Potomac.