It is not a secret that English is the international language nowadays. Everyone is supposed to speak English as it is the language of education, business and trade and of course the Internet. What is the best way to learn this foreign language? To live in the English speaking environment. However, you can still learn this language if you attend special English learning courses.
If you want to master the English language, you ought to attend the courses suggested by the English as a Second Language (ESL) program. This program offers specific courses for students whose level of English is insufficient. Students are divided into groups and receive enough attention from their teachers. They are expected to master different language skills. For example, students focus on grammar, listening, speaking, reading and writing. The majority of students find writing the most difficult skill and I do not wonder why. Writing is a combination of speaking, grammar and vocabulary. One can complete a superb essay only if he or she knows enough words and can join them together following all the grammatical rules that exist in English. Thus, essay writing activities are considerable in any ESL program. Students have to fulfill many written assignments to be able to learn grammar and prepare effective essays.
Essay writing activities are very useful for every ESL student. Why? When you improve your level of English, especially your writing skills, you will be able to participate in other education and training programs. It is reasonable to receive such certificates as TOEFL or IELTS that illustrate your current level of English. Bear in mind that these exams require the highest level of writing skills; therefore, it is smart to train for them during your ESL program. One can say that ESL is your basis for the further self-development. With the help of ESL, you can pass TOEFL or IELTS exams, receive a certificate and enter a college or find a legitimate job. Thus, the value of essay writing activities in ESL cannot be overestimated. As I have mentioned above, the entire essay writing activity for ESL students depends on the student’s level of English. There are three of them: beginner, intermediate and advanced.
What do students learn at the beginner level? They focus on grammar and learn tenses and grammatical structures. They do grammatical exercises of different types. They define the right tense in a sentence; correct errors in the example sentences; learn prepositions, etc. Finally, they learn to write simple essays on the simplest topics. For instance, beginners write about their favorite hobbies, their family, pets or favorite places. Doubtless, the length of such essays is very short. When students have little time at their disposal, they prepare 300-word essays. Of course, they will have to correct their errors when the teacher checks these assignments. Beginners do not need to pay much attention to the essential sections of their essays. They should just present their point of view about the suggested problem.
Intermediate level is more serious and it touches upon the students who possess the average level of English. They have to work harder in order to obtain their intermediate language skills. What do they do? They broaden their vocabulary and learn metaphors and similes to improve the quality of their essays. It is notable to write newsworthy and authentic essays. Students learn to avoid clichés that reduce the originality of their texts. They do grammatical exercises studying more complicated grammatical structures and learn about the proper punctuation and conjunctions. What is more, they pay attention to the standard structure of an essay. Students learn about the well-known composition of a 5-paragraph essay that consists of exposition, the main body and denouement. They learn to write the appropriate introductions and conclusions. Without question, this knowledge is paramount in essay writing. When an ESL student knows about the tricks and specific approach towards writing an introductory and concluding sections of an essay, he will be able to prepare a profound and imposing TOELF essay.
Advanced students develop their essay writing skills even further. They learn about various transitions and connectors. It is better to connect two sentences with such words as ‘firstly’, ‘furthermore’, ‘however’, etc. They make your essay look more professional and admirable. Such sophisticated and coherent essays are pleasant to read. Next, students dwell on the improvement of the structure of their essays. They learn to write from the simple and less valuable arguments to the more complicated and persuasive ones. ESL students learn additional useful phrases and sentence patterns in order to work out their own style. Moreover, they are able to enrich their vocabulary with synonyms inasmuch as they fulfill various assignments directed at this activity. Students observe different types of essays and learn to complete analytical, persuasive, argumentative and other types of essays. Finally, they improve their knowledge with such writing activities as ‘Explain the Idiom’ or ‘The Lying Game’.
ESL program is very important for students who want to master English and continue their education in any English speaking country. The course provides students with all possible exercises, essay writing activities among them.