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Learning English On A Trip to The United States of America

By Yann, published on 01/02/2019 We Love Prof - AU > Languages > ESOL (English) > Learn English As You Travel: ESOL In The USA

If you are an ESL learner serious about developing your English language skills and fluency on your English as a second language (ESOL) course. Then you should definitely consider travelling out of the ESL classroom and into an English speaking country as part of your English language development.

No one can dispute the effectiveness of enrolling in ESL programs, ESOL teaching techniques and ESOL English certification programs for ESL students. The learning environment and teaching strategies certainly are the leading factor in motivation and language development for students. This method of teaching and learning gives English language learners a solid foundation in the language, giving students the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills to communicate in English competently.

But despite the strengths of ESL English language instruction in the traditional way, speaking English requires more than just language training. For non native students to learn English effectively and fluently they must spend some time in English speaking countries. This will allow them to transform limited English language skills into high-level language proficiency.

When you study in the classroom, your English speaking tends to stop once you leave the physical class. But when you live abroad in an English speaking country, English language teaching opportunities are all around you. This strategy has real value for international students who are serious about their second language acquisition.

The United States of America (USA) is a country made up of the 50 states. These states can be divided into 4 regions; The Northeast, The midwest, The West and the south.

  1. The Northeast is where you will find New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
  2. The Midwest is where you will find Ohio, Michigan and Kansas.
  3. The South is where you will find Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas
  4. The West is where you find California, Arizona, Alaska and New Mexico.

Like the UK, People in the USA live all over the country, you can find huge cities or tiny towns and everything in between. The transport system is fantastic with trains and long distance buses that can take you anywhere you need to go. However, English learner who hopes to travel across the country should be aware of how large the United States is depending on your connection it could take days to travel from the east to west coast.

It is important while planning your trip in the USA that you maximise your time to learn the most possible about the language and culture. If you want to experience the immersion and enrichment from travelling abroad, you have to be very intentional in your learning. Because you will not have an English tutor or language program to guide your learning.

You will be fully responsible for your speaking skills, your listening skills and your comprehension. This will be your most honest language assessment, and you will have to become a teacher to yourself. Spotting opportunities to learn, by paying attention to the native grammatical language that English speakers use.

Canada has a plug style like the USA Imagine if you improved your English speaking by sightseeing in the USA. Photo Source: Unsplash

Benefits Of Learning English While Travelling In The United States of America

Advancing with your English proficiency is the goal of any trip abroad to an English speaking country.  If you are willing to be fully engaged in your own development and learning of English, then this will be a successful experience.

Top Benefits And Tips For Learning English In The USA

  1. The USA is a beautiful country with very friendly and welcoming people. If you are able to avoid being shy the conversations with the local people could become your best language teachers. Just by using your listening skills as your main method of teaching yourself.
  2. Although you are probably not a certified teacher, you could plan your day with some lesson planning quizzes or language training games. Because you will be surrounded by English 24 hours a day, this could be a fun way to get through the day.
  3. Try experiences that follow real life, you could push yourself to speak on the phone, go to buy something in a shop and speak to the assistant, go to an art gallery and take a tour of the city. All of these are opportunities for fun, but also they are also proactive teaching techniques for you to try different English vocabulary.
  4. The USA is multicultural and multilingual, so even if you have basic English, you will always find people who can help you and help you to communicate.
  5. The USA is full of spectacular natural environments, gorgeous cities and fantastic beaches. You can take tours or explore on your own. You will have lots of opportunities to improve your English communication.
  6. You will use your English skills so much that you will easily be able to identify where you are lacking grammar and vocabulary. This will allow you to fix these issues and fill any limitations in your knowledge.
  7. You will have the chance to share in a cross-cultural exchange as native English speakers will be interested in your background. Even non-native speakers will be fun to speak with about the interesting American Cultural differences.

Get a Visa to study in the USA Start the language learning journey of a lifetime. Photo Source: Unsplash

Other Options For ESL English Learners To Visit The United States of America

You also have the option to live temporarily in the USA if you would like to stay longer than a few weeks. To do this, you will need to apply for the correct Visa that matches your circumstances.

If continuing your education is essential for your second language, try enrolling on a program to

  • Learn as a full-time English student in the US with a college level international school or educational program.
  • Complete a student exchange program for a semester
  • Do an internship for bilingual education

ESL students studying English in adult education for professional development will find business English opportunities too.

  • The USA is home to thousands of business events, conferences, seminars, meetups and networking events where you can come together with other like-minded people to not only practice your English but also to develop your business contacts. You could also hire an English teacher to be your travel guide so that you can learn while exploring.

Discuss the options with your current school teacher or English tutor for the best guidance on the matter. They are experienced to know what is best for your academic achievement.

Benefits Of Learning English While Travelling In The United States of America The USA is full of specatular natural environments, gorgeous cities and fantastic beaches. Photo Source: Unsplash

US Entry Essentials To For The English Language Learner

Entry Requirements

Every non-US national must carry a passport that is valid for the period of stay in the country, to be safe make sure your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months after you plan to leave the country. It is essential to check your passport before travelling as you could be turned back at the US border if your passport doesn’t meet their requirements.

Most countries are required to apply for a visa or travel document before travelling to the USA. You also need to fill out a customs declaration. It is a good idea to carry your itinerary with you to show that you have enough money for the trip and that you have somewhere to stay or a hotel.

If you have to get a visa to make sure that you are approved before booking your flights and accommodation because visa can be delayed and even refused for various reasons.

At the border or port of entry, you will have a photo and fingerprints taken, this only happens as you are entering the country after which you can travel freely within the United States.

Essential Practical Information

  • The United States of America speaks English as its national language, but there are many other languages spoken including Spanish and Creole.
  • The currency is The United States of America Dollar (USD)
  • The legal drinking age is 21 years old
  • The emergency number is 911
  • The Mainland USA has 4 time zones; Eastern time, Central time, Mountain time and Pacific time.
  • Be aware of no smoking signs even when you outside
  • The international country code is 1, and each state has its own 3 digit area code
  • Saying hello or shaking hands is the usual greeting upon meeting someone. Depending on where you are you may be hugged or kissed on the cheek.

As an ESOL student travelling in the USA, you are going to have the time of your life, and it will undoubtedly be a highlight of your English language learning journey. When you go back to your ESOL lessons so much more is going to make sense to you. This is an experience that brings your imagination to life and also brings the language to life too. So if you have the chance make sure to book your trip ASAP and start the language learning journey of a lifetime.

Imagine being able to say that you improved your English speaking confidence by sightseeing in New York, USA or Melbourne Australia.

If you found this useful, why not check out our blog on Student Travel in Canada!

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