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ESL: A Subject, A Communication Tool, And A Way Of Life

ESL or English as a Second Language is not only a subject AND a communication tool, but it is a way of life for some people. English is one of the languages most commonly spoken throughout the world and one of the most desirable languages to learn. In many countries, you have ESL teachers coming from predominantly English speaking countries to teach the language to the locals. For ESL teachers, it’s an adventure of a lifetime – an opportunity to see the world as well as make some money.

To say that English as a Second Language is just another language subject that one studies in school are a major understatement. People taking ESL aren’t learning the language like a student might take Spanish or French in high school or college. ESL learners aren’t hobbyists – they are studying English because they believe it is a communication tool necessary to further their education and career possibilities.

They aren’t wrong either. ESL has been proven to improve a number of brain functions. Compared with single-language speakers, bilinguals have an easier time with:

  • Understanding math concepts
  • Developing critical thinking skills
  • Paying attention
  • Analyzing languages
  • Learning new languages
  • Problem-solving
  • Abstract thinking
  • Filtering out distractions and extraneous information
  • Multi-tasking

Successful ESL students also enjoy:

Superior Memory

ESL training will lead to an increase in memory ability and is particularly good for short-term memory.  This is a lifelong benefit that helps in school and the workplace.

Mental Flexibility

A second language opens up pathways in the brain which helps a person think from multiple angles. ESL helps exercise the brain to keep it flexible and agile.

The Benefits Of ESL Aren’t Just For Children

Bilingual adults have more employment opportunities than their one-language colleagues and the demand for bilinguals will continue to grow around the world.

ESL benefits are also evident in older groups. As people age, they lose the ability to perform complex tasks. The part of the brain responsible for planning diminishes and older people are less able to adapt to unfamiliar circumstances. However, studies show that ESL senior’s brains decline slower and operate more efficiently than monolingual seniors.

Recent studies have also shown that bilingualism may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. Researchers have noted that bilinguals showed symptoms of Alzheimer’s four to five years after monolinguals with similar genetic traits.

About Discover English

Discover English is a North Vancouver based English language school founded in 2005. We provide prestigious English language courses that will equip you for academia and business. Contact us today for more information.

 

All credit goes to DEA Education Center

Cool Facts About the Dictionary

A dictionary seems pretty straight forward, the words are listed alphabetically, and all you have to do is find the right page and look for the word you’re trying to find. However, there are some interesting facts about the dictionary that you might not know.

It Takes a Lot of Work to Add a New Word

When people use a word/phrase frequently enough that it shows up in print and online publications, lexicographers will collect citations of the word, document the source and record its contextual meaning. Afterwards, lexicographers will conduct database research, and find evidence that people from various backgrounds have used the word over a period of time. Finally, a decision will be made to include the new word in an upcoming edition of the dictionary.

The First English Dictionary Only Included Difficult Words

Dictionaries are typically thought of as large tomes that contain every single word known to man. However, the early versions of the dictionary beg to differ. They didn’t contain any simple or common words, but only the difficult, not often heard of words. Back in the early 17th century, the dictionary was a list of hard words with easy to understand definitions.

Noah Webster Learned 26 Languages to Write His Dictionary

While Noah Webster isn’t the first American to produce a dictionary, his name has become affiliated with the American dictionary. With the hope of creating a unique American lexicon with Americanized spelling and proper pronunciation of words, Webster researched word origins and sources, and became an etymology expert. He learned 26 languages, which included Sanskrit and Old English, to write his dictionary.

The First Merriam-Webster Dictionary Cost $6

When Webster died, George and Charles Merriam bought the rights to revise Webster’s dictionary. Later on, they sold the dictionary for 6 dollars.

It Took Almost 50 Years to Create The Oxford English Dictionary

In 1857, the Philological Society of London asked for a comprehensive English language dictionary, with words from the 12th century to the present. In 1879, they collaborated with the Oxford University Press, and work went forward. Now the Oxford English Dictionary is one of the most respected and widely used dictionaries.  

J.R.R. Tolkien Researched Word Etymologies for the OED

After serving in World War I, J.R.R. Tolkien worked as an editor’s assistant on the OED. He researched the etymologies of certain words that started with the letter w. After his time at the OED, Tolkien worked as an English professor and went on to write The Lord of the Rings.

 

All credit goes to DEA Education Center

The Importance of the English Language in Business Communication

English is now known as the global language of trade and commerce – as it has been in the past few decades. This has affected many aspects of the modern world. The English language became known due to colonial expansion, and since then it has become the standard language for all global and official communications – even those with a variety of native languages. Now, this expansion continues thanks to the internet and has become a medium through which the majority of businesses do business.

Having an excellent knowledge of English has become a vital aspect for any employee’s career if they want to be successful. This is especially true for any international students who are seeking better career prospects in an English speaking country. As a result, English is definitely the preferred language in the business community since business communication has gone global and the majority of business partners do not speak the same native language.

With its ability to cross international borders, being proficient in the language is a vital part of success in a highly competitive corporate world. Many organizations around the world rely on English as a means of communication, whether it is through emailing or corporate documentation or popular business resources in print and/or electronic formats.

Here is a simplified version of the importance of the English language in business communication:

It’s Unifying

The language first expanded when it expanded to the New World in the Americas, creating English speaking colonies which became the United States and Canada. Soon, other colonies such as India, the African continent, the Middle East, Australia and Hong Kong soon adopted the language as well. English became the unifying language in many of these areas and soon became the official language of shipping, travel and commerce.

The European Union and the Commonwealth of Nations

English is one of the main official languages in the European Union and the Commonwealth. So, all business being conducted in the European Union is done in English. The same applies to all the business transactions done by the Commonwealth, which promotes free trade among its member states.

Doing Business Worldwide

With English being a global language for doing business, it should come as no surprise that in some industries like the airline and shipping industries, English is the official standard language. Because of this, proficiency in English is required for key jobs like air traffic control or ship captain. Also, English became a major language for finance and the stock markets around the world. Therefore, anyone who wishes to do business globally must be proficient in speaking and writing English (for emails, presentations, marketing, business contracts etc.).

Doing Business on the Internet

When it comes to doing business on the Internet, English is the major language being used. A website written in English will attract more customers and expand the customer base making even remote businesses in different countries more popular. Having well-written products and service descriptions in English will attract more customers and give your business some credibility.

 

All credit goes to DEA Education Center

10 Tips to Learn Any Language Faster

Have you ever listened to someone switch from one language to another so seamlessly, and wondered if it is possible for you to do the same? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 10 tips on how to learn any language faster:

1. Know Why You’re Doing It

If you don’t have a good reason to learn a language, you are likely not able to commit in the long-run. No matter what your reason is, once you have decided on the language you want to learn, it is important to commit to it.

2. Find a Partner

A partner can help motivate and push you to really learn the language. It also adds a competitive edge to it, like if your partner is doing more than you are, you’ll get jealous and use that motivation to try and ‘outdo’ them. Either way, it works!

3. Talk to Yourself

When you don’t have anyone else to speak to, then try and talk to yourself. This is a great way to learn a language, especially if you are not able to use it all the time. This method can help keep the new words and phrases fresh in your mind and help build your confidence for the next time you speak with someone.

4. Keep it Relevant

If you focus on learning the language in a conversationalist way, then you are less likely to get lost in the technicalities of it. Talking to other people will help keep the process relevant to you. You are learning the language so you can use it, especially in general, everyday settings.

5. Have Fun with It

Use your new language creatively. For example, if you are learning a language, maybe practice it by writing and recording songs in that language. Or draw a comic strip. Or try to hold a conversation with whoever speaks it and see how it works.

6. Be Childish About It

This doesn’t mean acting like a kid per say, just try to learn the language the way that kids would. Kids can learn new skills faster because of their lack of self-consciousness, their desire to play with the language and their willingness to make mistakes. We learn by making mistakes, and kids are expected to make mistakes, but for adults, that’s not the case. When learning a language, admit that you don’t know everything and with that realization, find out that it’s easier to pick it up because of the mistakes you made.

7. Leave Your Comfort Zone

The willingness to make mistakes mean you need to be ready to end up in potentially embarrassing situation. However, this is the only way to develop and improve. You will not be able to speak a language without putting yourself out there by doing things like:

  • Talking to strangers in the language
  • Asking for directions
  • Ordering food

The more you do things like it, the more at ease you’ll feel.

8. Listen

Learn to listen before you speak. Every language will sound strange when you hear it for the first time, but the more you hear it, the more familiar it will become.

9. Watch People Talk

Different languages will make different demands on your tongue, lips and throat. Pronunciation is both physical and metal. Really look at someone while they are saying words that use a certain sound, and then try to imitate that sound as much as possible. With practice, this becomes easier.

10. Dive Right In

You’ve decided to commit to a new language. Now what? It is recommended that you practice your new language every single day.

Good luck!

 

All credit goes to DEA Education Center