Updated: Jul 11
People can be all-too quick to brandish tutoring as a service exclusively provided for children. However, you’d be surprised by the number of adult learners who call to enquire about Titanium Tutors’ services!
In particular, we receive a lot of enquiries for ESL lessons: English as a Second Language. In today’s blog, we’re going to explore the real-world benefits of ESL tuition for adult learners in the UK.
What’s the Difference Between ESL and EFL?
First things first, it’s time to debunk a few myths – one of which being that ESL and EFL are the same thing. ESL stands for English as a Second Language, whilst EFL means English as a Foreign Language. The key difference is the reason for learning to speak English: whilst EFL refers to learners who travel abroad due to personal interests or academic study, ESL speakers learn more so out of necessity – as they have moved from their home country to an English-speaking country, which can occur for a plethora of reasons. ESL learners subsequently learn English as a second language, in order to effectively communicate with the native speakers in their new permanent or temporary location. There are different approaches to teaching ESL and EFL; in particular, ESL lessons have an intrinsic focus on communication. They, therefore, cover both spoken and written English, as well as the rules of the English language in different contexts: the formal, professional world, in contrast with everyday colloquialisms. What’s more, ESL lessons incorporate everything from the basics of grammar and pronunciation, to the cultural norms of the country.
The Benefits of ESL Lessons
Navigating the Everyday with Ease
It can be daunting for anyone to move to a new country – particularly when the population predominantly speaks a language you are unfamiliar with. Small everyday tasks such as ordering a coffee at a café or getting the bus home can feel overwhelming when having to confront a second language. As humans, we naturally want to feel heard and understood. It is much easier to navigate your way through everyday life if you’ve got a confident grasp of the native language; not only are you able to communicate your own wants and needs, but also understand others’ too!
Furthermore, ESL lessons can help people of all ages with their academic development. Not only can they aid children who are adjusting to a new school system and curriculum, but also adults who are looking to pursue higher education. Also - did you know that bilingual students can obtain certain cognitive skills faster than their peers? From multitasking to working memory, bilingualism has many benefits which can propel individuals into academic success. There’s a reason why the number of international students in the UK has reached an all-time high!
Connecting with your Community
What’s more, bilingual abilities help individuals to connect with local communities. Not only can they communicate with friends and family in their first language, but also English speakers – thus expanding their social circle tenfold! This is especially the case in parts of the UK which are dominated by two or more languages; the social opportunities for bilingual residents are limitless! Feeling part of a local community is important, particularly for those who have recently travelled over to the UK from their home country. Uprooting your life and moving countries can be an isolating process. However, the first stage of connecting with those around you is by sharing the same language! A well-structured ESL lesson will include guidance about everything from the basics of language and pronunciation, to cultural and social references - helping to shape the student's bilingual identity. Psychological researchers have found that - particularly for bilingual speakers - personal identity is shaped by language.
Increased Employment Opportunities
This benefit is of utmost topical importance in 2023. In the UK, not only can bilingualism increase employment opportunities – particularly as more and more businesses go global! – but many adults without sufficient English skills struggle to find work full stop. This is particularly poignant in light of the increased influx of refugees in the UK. For example, countless refugees who are fleeing war-torn countries, seeking refuge in the UK are faced with an inability to find employment – due to their lack of proficient English language skills. Titanium Tutors are playing our part to help: in our Support Refugees Scheme, we are offering 5 Ukrainian refugees 10 free hours of tuition, in a subject of their choice. With a wealth of expert ESL tutors on our books, we particularly welcome applications from adult learners looking to improve their English, in order to increase job opportunities in the UK. If this sounds like you, or someone you know, please look out for our form (coming soon!).
Blog Post Crafted by Lizzie
Lizzie is one of our experienced English tutors. She is also an actress, singer and composer. After graduating from the University of Birmingham with a BA (Hons) degree in English Literature and Drama, she went on to teach secondary school English for a year, and has been tutoring alongside her other passions ever since!
Lizzie is SO obsessed with the romantic literary classics that she composed a musical theatre adaptation of ‘Wuthering Heights’!