ESL is an abbreviation that you can usually hear in educational environments, and it stands for “English as a Second Language” .This term is usually used when referring to students that are learning English but aren’t native English speakers, regardless of their age. Moreover, if you have kids, you should know that ESL classes are available from an early age, and they come with many benefits. If you’d like to know more, here are a few of those benefits that you should be aware of.
Your communication skills would improve
First, obviously, learning another language means that you would be able to communicate with a wider range of the world’s population. Plus, since the language in question is English, you’d be able to communicate with about 20% of the world’s population, which is not a small number. English is a global language, after all, and no matter where you are in the world, the chances are that somebody around you knows it. So, this can come in handy when traveling, but in this day and age, it can also be essential in many academic and professional fields.
You’d be able to conduct academic research more efficiently
As mentioned, English can be essential in academic fields, mainly because many important scientific texts are either written in English or translated to it. So, knowing English means that you’d have access to those texts, and thus, be able to conduct more effective research on your own topics. Additionally, most such texts use advanced English, which is one more reason your kids should start learning English early – they need to reach that level as well in order to understand what they read.
You’d be more self-sufficient
Related to traveling, even if you don’t know the language of the country you’re traveling to, you can often find street signs written in English, or you can ask for directions and anything else you need. In other words, knowing English would allow you to be self-sufficient instead of depending on somebody else to translate everything for you. So, for example, if you’ve moved to Hong Kong recently, Chinese can be quite a difficult language to learn, but you can always sign up for an ESL program in Hong Kong and improve your English knowledge. Regardless of your current knowledge of English, such a program could definitely help you find your way around.
Your brain function would improve
Learning another language has shown to result in some brain changes that lead to improved cognitive abilities. For instance, it has shown to boost one’s mental capacities, which is especially visible in short-term memory tests. Mental flexibility, in general, becomes much better, and it increases one’s problem-solving skills, too. Finally, it also delays age-related cognitive problems, so it’s safe to say that it can benefit you for a long time.
Your social skills would improve
Learning another language includes learning how that language works and how it is used. Moreover, since language plays an important role in social interactions, understanding how a language works can help one better understand and respond to various social situations. In short, learning another language can improve your performance in all kinds of social settings.
You could become more open-minded
By learning another language, you are not just learning how to communicate with people who speak it – you are also learning about their culture, habits, traditions, etc. The thing is, language is shaped by the native speakers, and by knowing the language, you get an insight into their culture. This can make you more open-minded towards not just English natives but everybody, as you’d know that their culture might be different from yours, but it’s still just as unique. Moreover, even when talking to somebody who doesn’t speak your native language, if they know English, you’d still be able to explain cultural differences to them – and they’d be able to do the same.
To sum up, knowing English is not just about communication, although it is an important part of it. It’s also about gaining all the above-listed benefits. So, whether you know English well but you’d like to improve your knowledge, or if you have young kids and you want them to start learning early, enrolling in ESL classes is a decision you would not regret.