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Become Fluent in English

Updated on November 28, 2015

Why Are You Learning English?

You may have learned English before coming to the U.S., but you discover that many Americans speak a different kind of Engish than you learned in your home country. This fact can surprise foreigners, making it difficult to understand and speak English effectively. It can also affect your level of confidence. The good news is there are lots of English classes offered in every city to help.

Which English Class Should You Take?

Do you know that there are many kinds of English programs in the U.S.? Each kind is designed for a different purpose. Some kinds of programs have strict visa requirements.

Intensive English Programs

Intensive English programs are usually offered at colleges, universities, 2-year colleges and in private schools, and are for students planning to earn a university degree in the U.S. and need to pass the TOEFL exam. Students attend classes an average of 20 hours per week and study academic speaking, listening, reading, writing and grammar. Strict attendance and homework requirements apply.

Business English

Businesses and organizations in the U.S. and in other countries employ English speakers in the U.S. whose native language is not English. Many of these employees speak English at an advanced level, but want to improve their American-English accent to be better understood by their colleagues, and want to improve work effectiveness. Specialized classes are provided.

Boarding Schools for International High School Students

Students enroll in 9-month classes at a U.S. boarding high school until they graduate, and then can often be accepted directly into a university or college degree program. Students live on campus in the dormitories with other foreign students and American students, and all meals are provided. They need to meet English language requirements to be accepted at the school. Some schools have English as a Second Language (ESL) immersion classes in English and History where students learn english in an all-English speaking environment with support provided in English speaking, listening, reading, writing and grammar; and attend regular classes in Science and Math with ESL support. Physical Education and electives (Music, Art, Theater, etc.) are also required. Students are able to participate in campus clubs, sports teams, art shows, music performances and theater performances. Schools host weekly activities and trips. Tuition for room and board can exceed $40,000 per year. Strict attendance restrictions apply.

Summer English Programs

Students from other countries come to the U.S. for a few weeks in the summer to improve their English. These programs keep students busy outside of class as well, offering full activity and travel programs that include sports, games, sightseeing, overnight trips to other cities, etc. Some programs provide host-families for students to live with. Check with each program to find out what they offer.

Free English Classes

Free English classes are offered at most libraries. The goal of these programs is to provide daily living skills such as: shopping, banking, getting a drivers license, doctor appointments, transportation, job applications, school applications, making telephone calls, getting help, living resources, hobbies, making friends, eating in restaurants, etc. Attendance requirements may or may not apply.

Year-round Private English Schools

Students can attend anywhere from 2 weeks to 9 months. Some students come to the U.S. to attend classes after they graduate high school and before they begin studying at a university in their home country. Some students want a certificate of English study for work to help them get a better job in their home countries. Some students attend for pleasure. Students can age in range from 16-60. Students may live with a host-family in the town or city in which they study. These programs usually provide activities and travel opportunities.

Step Programs

Some colleges provide summer English classes for enterring foreign students before they begin their fall classes. Speaking, listening, reading, writing and grammar are usually covered. Strict attendance requirements may apply.

How to Apply for a U.S. Non-Immigrant Visa

How Much Do Classes Cost?

Enrolling in classes can seem expensive, but can also greatly increase your chance of success. Scholarships are sometimes available through a government, ministry of education, school or company.

So Many Choices

Today there are so many options for learning English, but do they all result in success? Just type "Learning English" into an internet browser. How do you know which English program is best for you? If you are serious about succeeding in learning English and need it for college entrance or to improve your success in business, then it is necessary to enroll in a professional and stuctured program that meets at least twice weekly. If you don't need English for these purposes or are strictly taking it for pleasure, you can enroll in free classes or a less intensive and less expensive program.

Success Depends On You

Success ultimately depends on you. If you commit to an English program, attend classes, do your homework and complete the program, you are on your path to success!

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