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What to Expect From Your First English as a Second Language Class
July 18, 2022 at 7:00 AM
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So, you’ve signed up for your first ESL course. Congratulations! You’re on your way to becoming more proficient in one of the most popular languages on earth.

While you’re probably excited to start learning, heading into your first English as a second language class can be scary.

At the American English Institute, we offer unique, full-service programs taught by professional, compassionate teachers. Contact us to learn about how our programs can help you reach your goals.

If you’ve already signed up for English classes, but don’t know what to expect, keep reading for our list of six things you can expect from your first class.

1. Come prepared with supplies

In order to succeed in your English as a second language class, you’ll need to come prepared with a few supplies.

Bring your notebook, a writing utensil, and any tools you will need to succeed. It’s perfectly acceptable to bring with you a dictionary or thesaurus. If you’re uncertain, check with your teacher or program coordinator.

If you have any learning disabilities that require accommodation, reach out to your program coordinator in advance of your first lesson so they can make your learning environment as comfortable as possible.

2. Expect to speak English

Nearly all English classes will discourage you from speaking your first language during the lesson. This includes speaking to your fellow classmates. Your teacher will address the class in English, all written instructions will be in English, and one-on-one communication with your instructor will be in English.

If you fall behind or don’t understand what is being said, be sure to raise your hand and ask your teacher to repeat themselves. All ESL instructors are trained to ask questions that ensure all students understand the lesson material, but it’s still important to advocate for yourself.

3. Be ready for ice breakers and warm-ups

Most English classes will begin with an ice breaker or warm-up that will introduce the lesson topic. These warm-ups help students open up to one another. They also help them practice their English in a more casual environment.

Ice breakers and warm-ups are designed to help you feel more comfortable in the classroom so you are ready to learn the lesson material.

4. Be ready for corrections

While a traditional classroom setting may reserve corrections for private situations like marked papers or one-on-one meetings, English as a second language classes are designed to correct students throughout the lesson.

This means instructors will correct students on their pronunciation, grammar, and word choice. Be prepared for this and try not to take it personally.

5. Be prepared to develop a relationship with your teacher

At reputable institutions such as the American English Institute, English instructors are very involved with their students’ success. This means they will take the time to get to know you and help you with whatever you may need.

Unlike a traditional university where lecture halls are often large and impersonal, English as a second language classes are warm and friendly. You’ll likely develop a close professional relationship with your teacher over time.

6. Expect to leave the class with take-home tasks

Whether or not your teacher assigns homework, they will likely recommend ways for you to practice what you’ve learned.

Integrated English practice is a part of what makes many of the American English Institute programs unique. Many of our students acquire homestays, college placements, and employment in the US that requires them to integrate their classroom knowledge into a real-world setting.

Sign up for English as a Second Language Classes

That concludes our list of what to expect from your first English class. Whether you’re looking to improve your conversational abilities, or you’re planning a pathway to your future career, we hope this article helps you prepare for your first class.

Are you ready to start your journey to learn English? Our faculty at the American English Institute is eager to help you achieve your goals. Contact us to learn about our programs and student services.