English as a Second Language (ESL), also called English as a Foreign Language (EFL), is an English language study program for nonnative speakers. Most ESL programs have small classes so that students receive individual attention from their teachers. Students study English and also participate in the cultural and social activities of the school and community where they study.
The goal of an ESL program is to improve the students’ level of English. ESL classes teach different language skills, depending on students’ English abilities, interests, and needs. All programs teach the following: conversational English, grammar, reading, listening comprehension, writing, and vocabulary.
Many people go to ESL schools to prepare for study at a College or University. In this case, students can choose an intensive program that teaches academic English. Other students study at ESL schools to improve their English for travel or social purposes. They can study in General English classes to practice conversational English and learn the skills necessary for communicating in many different situations. Business English courses are also available for students who want to learn the specific vocabulary and communication skills necessary for doing business in English.